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From care dependence to self-reliance and codependency

The healthcare landscape in Europe is facing considerable changes. The current care initiatives won’t be sufficient much longer given the constantly increasing elderly population. Because of this, we need to make sure the elderly can stay at home for as long as possible, all while being safe and having access to professional care.  Independence is crucial in this matter. As is the role of informal caretakers such as friends, neighbours and family. A higher level of independence is not only beneficial when staying at home, but it also relieves work pressure from care institutions. How exactly does this process of self-reliance work? And what does it mean for elderly care as a whole? That’s what we are going to discuss in this article.

The care process in your own hands

Our current healthcare system isn’t future proof. That much is clear. In the future, we will be required to help even more people, with even less human and financial resources.  It’s important to involve elderly people in their own care process, to give them more responsibility and to restore a sense of self-worth within them. In recent years, too much caring for the elderly resulted in them losing their self-reliance and only made them become heavily dependent on the people caring for them. If we want to create a healthcare system that’s suitable for the future, we need to stimulate seniors to take control of their own healthcare again.

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Focus on possibilities, not on limitations

To keep seniors at home as long as possible, or to increase their level of independence in care institutions, it’s important to trigger their self-reliance. By this, we mean people’s ability to take care of themselves physically, socially and cognitively. 

We can no longer focus on limitations. Rather, we have to support people in their ability to develop and increase their own level of independence. 

This not only applies to seniors. People in constant need of caretaking can’t do this on their own. As a result, self-reliance quickly becomes codependency. This means someone can be self-reliant with the help of caretakers, such as friends, family, neighbours and volunteer workers. 

In this vision, self-reliance is diametrically opposed to care dependence. Therefore, a fundamental shift is taking place from a purely medical to a more social approach; from illness and care to health, behaviour, people and society.

Codependency in practice

Improving self-reliance and codependency starts with clear communication between a caretaker and a patient. Explain the reasoning behind a certain approach and why you take that approach.  Concrete measuring tools and methods to improve co-dependence, such as a co-dependence matrix or a co-dependence radar, can help in this process. Aside from all of this, you can also consult certified experts as a caretaker yourself. Ask them how they aim to improve the self-reliance of their clients. Consulting occupational therapists for instance is popular to tackle these challenges.

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Technology aiding in codependency

Technology also plays an important role in maintaining and improving self-reliance and codependency.

"The fact that people prefer to remain in their own homes is a fact that has been known for some time now. However, that 86.3% of senior citizens are thinking about services that could assist them with their wish to remain independently at home might be a gamechanger."

- Christophe Moortgat, CEO Jane.

Jane combines motion sensors, alarms and artificial intelligence to act as a remote caretaker. 

Jane allows you to compose your own circle of caretakers. This circle can consist of friends or family members, but can also be linked to existing forms of care initiatives, such as home care or a nursing home. 

Via dashboards, monitoring of patients can be done easily and remotely. This continuous monitoring provides reassurance to caretakers and allows seniors to confidently continue to take up their role in society. 

Furthermore, this solution also works preventively. Jane sends out smart notifications based on behavioural patterns, which means seniors can safely remain active at all times. This improves self-reliance and prevents current limitations from increasing too. 

Looking for even more security, safety and care relief? You can also specify your own rules and notifications as a personal caretaker.

Ready for the shift?

Together, we strive towards a future in which seniors are no longer care dependent, but self-reliant and codependent. Are you ready to make the switch? Consult one of our experts to find out how Jane can help you in your caretaking needs.