Safety vs Happiness?

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Your right to peace of mind vs your parent’s right to independence

One of the dilemma’s that we face with ageing parents is balancing the need for them to be safe against their desire to be in their own home. Living in your own home isn’t just about wanting to stay put and refusing to accept change, it’s about hanging on to that all important independence.
So, how do we get the balance right between giving our parents the independence they desire and is key to their wellbeing whilst feeling reassured that they are safe and well.

Pippa Kelly in her blog post titled Risk vs Silent Harms explores the pursuit of adventure in people living with dementia to get away from “a downward spiral of low energy, low self-esteem and loneliness”.

“A Department of Health report encouragingly titled, “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained,” explores the role risk plays, and should be allowed to have, in the lives of those living with dementia.

“One person’s idea of unacceptable risk is another’s raison d’etre – take away the element of risk in someone’s life and you take away part of his or her self.”
One of the Canary team has recently had to face into this dilemma with a close relative who presented an eloquent, spirited and articulate argument as to exactly why she wanted to stay in her own home. The focus of the argument was about her right to happiness and acceptance that, yes she might fall, but she took responsibility for that and would accept the consequences.
Each situation is different and must be treated as such. However, surely a person’s right to happiness must not be ignored; and that happiness if often acquired through being able to make their own decisions, their own choices and remaining in control of their own life for as long as possible.

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