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As we celebrate our nation’s independence on the Fourth of July, I am reminded of our mission and the goal of those with whom we work. Their goal is to remain independent in their homes and communities. Independence is a value that is central to many of our daily choices, but it is often unspoken. When someone finds themselves in a new situation, like a change in household composition or in one’s health, the result is often a sudden decrease in one’s ability to be as independent as they were before. Advance planning is not an option in unexpected circumstances. WMEC is here to help you or your family member navigate change and understand your options so that you so can make the choice(s) that makes sense and keep you in the driver’s seat.

We know that independence relies on one’s health or ability to take care of daily tasks like housekeeping, meal preparation, household chores or personal care. As is often said, it takes a village. Asking for help is often not easy, and we don’t want to feel dependent on others. However, trying to do it all on your own can be more complicated and may even carry some risk. For example, if stairs are becoming difficult, carrying laundry to a washer located on another floor can become unsafe. Reframing our thinking about what it means to be independent can help us tackle challenges and problem-solve. If remaining at home and part of your community is the goal, accepting help with daily routines and activities can be a way of meeting that goal. WMEC can help you sort out which things you can accomplish on your own, or with assistance from a care provider. If you have family or friends that help, it may be best to have caregivers cover the things that are best suited for family, neighbors, or friends who are offering their time and skills.

Caregivers also are juggling many aspects of family, work, and commitments in addition to their involvement in the care of loved ones. It is a balancing act for all of us to manage our busy lives. Offering each other the permission to not have to “do it all” can help make it manageable for everyone.

Together we can help you or your loved ones make the most of every day. WMEC offers a comprehensive set of services, and our staff knows other community resources which can support you if we can’t meet your needs. WMEC helps older adults and persons with disabilities live healthy, happy, and independent lives at home. We’re on a mission to promote independence, dignity, and respect for the elders in our region. We care. Contact us today, we would love to hear from you!