As the Baby Boomer generation ages, the population of senior citizens will continue to rise. Today, there are approximately 5.7 million seniors aged 65 and older, and Statistics Canada projects that number to increase to 8.7 million by 2031. Even more pressingly, StatCan expects the amount of seniors aged 80 and older to double within that time frame. To be sure, fostering independence for seniors will be a challenge, but with Personal Support Workers, maintaining independence is that much easier.
Understanding Age and Independence
According to the StatCan survey, an individual is not independent if they need help with one of the following activities: meal preparation, shopping for necessities, everyday housework, personal care (washing, dressing, bathing), and moving about inside the home. However, this definition is narrow: independence is a continuum rather than a binary. For instance, a senior living at home but receiving help with meal preparation retains more independence than a senior living in a long-term care facility.
The Benefits of Staying Independent
In Canada as a whole, independence is highly valued for all people. Everyone, no matter their age, should have the right to control their own lives. In this regard, giving seniors the opportunity to retain their independence should be a prerogative based on society’s beliefs alone. Nonetheless, there is also practical value in encouraging seniors to remain independent. If seniors can stay in their own homes, this decreases the cost, crowdedness, and strain on our provincial long-term care and retirement facilities. And of course, seniors themselves maintain higher self-confidence and self-worth if they can remain independent at home.
Personal Support Workers
A Personal Support Worker offers the perfect medium between a senior remaining safe at home and maintaining their independence. Personal Support Workers can provide services like:
- Meal planning and preparation;
- Medication reminders;
- Escorts to medical appointments, social outings, and events; and
- Watchful companionship.
Every senior has different needs, and a Personal Support Worker can tailor their services for each individual. If age has made daily necessities difficult for a senior in your life, consider a Personal Support Worker to maintain the asset of independence.
Closing the Gap provides Personal Support to help provide assistance with daily personal needs as individuals deal with the effects of injury, aging, or illness. If you or a loved one is in need of personal support, Contact Us to help determine if our care givers are right for you.