When we’re young, we celebrate every new symbol of our emerging self-reliance:
- Going to the store by ourselves for the first time.
- Getting a driver’s license.
- Heading off to college.
- Paying our own rent or mortgage.
While we take pride in these accomplishments in the beginning, time seems to teach us to take them for granted. When we consider them at all, it tends to be in the context of watching our children have the same experiences.
But we remember these events – these tiny acts of autonomy – because in many ways they’re still an expression of what makes us feel “grown up.” They represent our own personal declaration of independence. And we take them for granted only until time, illness or injury robs us of them. Generally, that’s a temporary inconvenience. A broken ankle, for example, may mean we can’t drive for a few weeks. Other losses are more permanent.
And that’s when we begin to feel for ourselves what many of our older loved ones face as they contemplate – or we try to discuss – their future needs. It’s difficult to talk about for the same reason it’s difficult to think about.
Change is Inevitable
Change is inevitable, and needing help in one area doesn’t necessarily mean the end of one’s independent life.
So this Independence Day, let’s celebrate all the freedoms we have. Let’s remember our capabilities rather than our disabilities. As we celebrate American freedom, let’s continue to do what we can to protect and preserve individual freedom and independence for all of us.
For information on how Caring Hearts helps seniors stay independent at home, please visit our Care Services page.