Sep 05, 2018

Older people fear losing independence more than death, survey finds

One of the greatest challenges that older people face is their loss of independence.

When an older person starts to feel they are losing their autonomy, they can experience a range of emotions. They may begin to feel angry, or start to feel confused about what is happening to their body or their life, or they may experience fear about what the future holds for them.

Studies have found that older people fear losing their independence more than they fear death.

For anyone, at any age, changes to their cognition or physical abilities can be confronting. And while there may be new limitations that older people have to overcome, it’s important to look at what they can do, and how. Through the support of family and friends, older people can be enabled to maintain a sense of independence for as long as possible.

Growing older need not mean that people have to give up making choices for themselves or that they can no longer have control of their lives. They can, given the right help, continue to do things on their own.

So how can we help older people to hold onto their independence for longer? How can we help them remain in their own home, give them a sense of confidence in their own abilities, and keep them engaged and socially connected with the activities and people they want to remain connected to?

Encouraging independence

Encourage older people to perform tasks as much as possible on their own, even if it might take them longer, it will help make them feel that they are capable of doing the things they have been doing all their life. Where possible, if they can attend to their own personal grooming and are able to dress themselves, then let them, and stand by ready to help if they ask.

Call and visit the person regularly. Ask their opinion about what’s going on in your life, or in current affairs. Encourage them to join classes, such as art classes or yoga. Help them stay connected using technologies such as social media.


Safety and security – Install a Personal Response Alarm

A personal alarm service with 24/7 response means that older people can remain independent at home as well as get out and about and be active in the community, yet always have the peace of mind that help from a real person is only the press of a button away.

MePACS response service is one of the leading personal alarm services in Australia. The response centre is based in Australia and calls are responded to by real people. If a person needs help, they will contacted via the alarm within two minutes by a comforting friendly voice available 24/7 – anytime day or night. Once the alarm is pressed, MePACS will also keep in contact with the client until we know help has arrived.

The MePACS Home and Mobile Personal Alarm Service is suitable for those who are looking for peace of mind while they are in the home, but also while they are out and about in the community. If you fall, begin to feel unwell, or require medical assistance, anywhere and at any time, fast and reliable help is only the press of a button away. The mobile device has a GPS locator and two-way speaker that allows MePACS to identify your location wherever you may be and get help to you quickly.

The MePACS Home and Mobile Personal Alarm gives older people a sense of confidence in their ability to remain active and connected to their communities, which in turn will help them remain socially connected and improve their overall wellbeing.

What many people don’t realize is that lying on a floor after a fall for an extended period of time can often cause more issues long term that the fall itself, which is why it’s so important to get help quickly, giving you the best opportunity to maintain your independence and keeping you safe.

MePACS is like a security blanket for older Australians, and has cared for nearly 40,000 Australians over 28 years. Even if living alone, the MePACS service means older people can feel that a caring person is just the press of a button away if they need them.

The MePACS button can be pressed in times of emergency, but some users press the button each morning to alert the MePACS team they have woken safely – and if the button isn’t pressed, the team will check in and alert the appropriate people.

A daughter of a MePACS user has recently written to the company to express her appreciation and gratitude for the service.

“For many years you have been in the background of mum’s life. You have discretely provided friendship and support to my mum and hence us. You helped her maintain her independence. Your lovely manner from all your staff is something to be so very proud of. In a funny absentee sort of way you became extended family. We could not recommend your team and services more highly.”

For more information contacts MePACS.

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  1. It is all about enabling not disabilying older people . We have to start thinking outside the box and what we can do within our individual communities to enable and include older people . A great article too.


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