Who should be in charge?

***  Time for this post?  Reading…a couple minutes.  Viewing…15 minutes. Changing your attitude…no time at all.

I started an exploration of fear of aging with Scilla Elworthy’s perspective. Today’s post is about a common fear that she didn’t mention—losing authority over our lives. It happens. More, and sooner, than it needs to in many cases.

So says Professor Nicole Ruggiano, an expert in chronic care and supportive services for aging adults. She researches health self-management and self-direction among older adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Professor Ruggiano advocates for person-centred practices that promote autonomy and choice.

Her talk is sprinkled with real-life examples of people she interviewed, giving us a picture of what can happen when autonomy is taken away. I think you’ll find it thought-provoking. And if you have adult children, you might want them to watch it.

What is person-centered aging?

Person-centered aging is a holistic model where doctors, nurses, social workers and family members all work on trying to have older adults maintain as much control over their lives as possible as they get older, despite physical and mental challenges they have along the way.

You can foster a culture of person-centred aging!

  1. Start treating older people as if they still have personalities, preferences and goals.
  2. Value that special knowledge that older people have about themselves and use it to understand the decisions they want to make. They may be factoring in information that you just don’t have.
  3. We need to acknowledge that, when an older person makes a decision we are  uncomfortable with, that discomfort is not really a good reason to take away their ability to make decisions for themselves.

Older people who are doing life their way and loving it..

2 thoughts on “Who should be in charge?

  1. Great article and Ted Talk. I volunteer with Dementia Network Calgary and the network has been advocating, promoting and members have been training within their respective organizations, for a person-centered care approach . It just makes sense on every level.

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