By their very nature, care homes are designed to provide individuals with extra levels of support on a regular basis. Whether referring to the elderly or those with debilitating conditions, the practices themselves have become highly advanced over the years. Some even feel that this level of attention precludes any type of patient independence. However, this is hardly the case. Those living within such facilities should be provided with as much freedom as possible. Why is this concept so important? Let’s take a look at the role of independence in relation to quality of life.
Promoting a Sense of Normalcy
A recent study found that 97 per cent of all elderly individuals prefer to live at home for the remainder of their lives. This is largely due to the fact that they are able to retain a sense of flexibility and autonomy. However, there are still times when care facilities are necessary (such as for those who are suffering from dementia or who may be at risk of falling). The transition to care facilities can be traumatic and upsetting on many levels; particularly if individuals begin to lose their sense of independence.
Those who are offered a fair amount of autonomy will be able to adapt to these settings; enabling them to make the most out of the experience. Let’s also remember that they will be more likely to respond positively to the care that is being provided. This is an obvious benefit from a purely medical point of view.
Staving Off Feelings of Worthlessness and Utter Anonymity
Independence comes in many shapes and forms. This will naturally vary from individual to individual. For example, some may view independence as nothing more than deciding when to eat lunch. Others associate this concept with being able to take a walk outdoors whenever he or she desires. The main intention of independent care homes is to provide this sense of personal space while still taking safety into account. Of course, finding a delicate balance between these two concepts can be challenging on occasion.
It is still a well-known fact that those who can maintain a sense of independence possess higher perceptions of self-worth. They are also much less likely to experience feelings of stress, anxiety and even depression. Another final point should be mentioned before moving on. Studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health found that many patients within care homes resented their families for having seemingly “abandoned” them during their hour of need. This was due (at least in part) to not being allowed to follow routines that they had become accustomed to. Providing residents of care facilities with a greater degree of freedom within semi-supervised settings can help to ensure that familial bonds remain strong.
We can now begin to appreciate why contemporary facilities place a great deal of importance upon the notion of independence. Would you like to learn more about the policies embraced by Eastleigh Care Homes? If so, please do not hesitate to speak with one of our specialists.