The Importance Of Allowing Your Loved One To Do Things On Their Own

I Do it Myself

One indication of a young child’s healthy development is their need to ‘do it myself.’ The feeling of being all-abled gives them the confidence to try new things and feel satisfaction from their accomplishments. This unhindered experimentation and practice set the stage for learning and getting competent at all sorts of behaviors and skills.

elderly man working, painting

So the drive to succeed on your own even if you can’t is actually a catalyst for competency in life.

As you age, though, you become aware of your limitations and, unfortunately, lose some of this confidence. You become self-conscious and often avoid attempting to take on things that you think you’ll fail at.

In time, you develop a self-image of your skills and capabilities. On one end of the spectrum are the people who become rigid in their views. They shy away from trying anything new because it’s too threatening. On the other end are the people who don’t realize that they just aren’t able to do everything.

Hopefully, you’re somewhere in the middle. While you understand your limitations you also have a strong belief in yourself and your ability to learn and master new skills. So you’re willing to try and even fail. Because, just like the child ‘fixing the fridge,’ that’s how we learn.

Doing Things on Your own in Your Senior Years

Enter old age.

Whether your loved one was were a risk-taker or played it safe and stuck to a strict regimen, they certainly had areas of mastery. This list includes anything from attending to basic hygiene and needs to more elaborate tasks. But as they begin to show signs of elder age, they often regress and lose some of their capabilities.

This can, understandably, cause a tremendous blow to their self-esteem and self-image.

Fortunately, places like Elmwood Hills can help them with the transition by providing world-class care with a personal touch and genuine concern. Your loved one can feel good going through the changes with support, understanding and respect.

Allowing Your Loved One to do Things on Their Own

But it doesn’t end there.

Elderly people want to do many things on their own. Some of these are above their capabilities or go against the doctor’s orders. But then there are others that are within their realm.

You, however, want to be helpful and don’t want them to work hard so you object and do it for them.

While you may be doing the right thing, if your loved one really wants to do something they’re capable of on their own that their doctor approves of, ask yourself if you’d be doing them a bigger service by allowing them to have it their way.

You can even say, “you know how much I’d love to help you with this but since I see how important it is for you to do it on your own, I want to respect your wish. If you change your mind, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I’m more than happy to help whenever you’d like.”

Now with communication like this, your loved one will get a lot more than physical help.

Why not give it a try?

Do you allow your loved one to do things on their own?

Please share in the comments below.


  1. richard burg -myra on October 12, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    if seniors are able to do things on their own they should be allowed with limited supervision