Let’s help preserve the autonomy of the elderly

We have the ability to decide

Being dependent in some aspects doesn’t mean we have to loose all our autonomy.

We understand autonomy as the ability of people to make their own choices, make their own decisions and assume the consequences of these.

When people get older, we sometimes assume that the loss of other capacities, whether motor or cognitive, is associated with a total loss of their autonomy, as if they were no longer able to make decisions, give their opinion and / or decide for themselves.

We all have to remember that being older does not disable us globally and despite our age and the difficulties we have, we can still make decisions about our lives.

We will contribute to the autonomy of the elderly if we make them participate in these decisions and if we listen to their opinion. We can achieve this with the simple act of asking. Let them give their opinion about their day to day, their vacations, certain medical decisions, etc., since this way we will help older people not to lose their remaining autonomy.

In some cases, older people may suffer some type of cognitive deterioration, associated with some illness or disease, which can affect the ability to make certain important decisions. In these cases, we can try to preserve autonomy in making simpler decisions, such as what to wear, what food to eat, among others, as long as the person is still possible and does not create discomfort when deciding.

Maria Garreta, Collegiate Psychologist No. 21887


Getting older doesn’t mean people want to stop giving their opinion or decide.

Sometimes we copy certain attitudes that we have with children and transfer them to older people. Just as it has been observed that the opinion of children must also be listened to and valued. We have to do the same accompaniment to the elderly and encourage them to participate in their day to day.

Let us try to ask before imposing, listen before taking for granted, thus we will be able to preserve a certain degree of autonomy despite the difficulties.