Maintaining Autonomy: How Older Persons With Chronic Conditions and Their Significant Others Interpret, Navigate, and Overcome Everyday Difficulties

As we journey through life, we accumulate experiences, memories, and, sometimes, health challenges. For older individuals with chronic conditions, each day presents a unique set of obstacles to overcome. Yet, in the face of these challenges, there’s a remarkable resilience and determination to maintain autonomy and independence.

Understanding the Journey

  1. Interpreting Everyday Difficulties: Older individuals with chronic conditions and their significant others often find themselves interpreting everyday difficulties through the lens of their health [1]. A simple task for some may require careful planning and consideration for others.
  2. Navigating Life’s Obstacles: Navigating through daily life becomes a delicate balance of managing health needs while striving for independence [3]. It involves adapting routines, seeking support when needed, and embracing new strategies to tackle challenges head-on.

Overcoming Challenges Together

  1. Strength in Unity: The journey becomes more manageable when shared with a supportive network of family, friends, and healthcare professionals [4]. The presence of significant others provides not only practical assistance but also emotional support, fostering a sense of belonging and reassurance.
  2. Empowering Independence: Empowering older individuals to maintain autonomy in their daily lives is crucial [2]. It involves encouraging them to make decisions, participate in activities they enjoy, and find purpose in their routines despite the challenges they may face.

Embracing Resilience

  1. A Resilient Spirit: Despite the hurdles, older individuals with chronic conditions exhibit remarkable resilience [5]. They approach each day with a sense of determination and adaptability, finding creative solutions to overcome obstacles and continue living life to the fullest.
  2. Celebrating Small Victories: Amid adversity, it’s essential to celebrate even the smallest victories [6]. Whether it’s completing a task or reaching a personal milestone, these moments serve as reminders of strength and perseverance.


The journey of older individuals with chronic conditions is a testament to the human spirit’s resilience and determination. Despite the everyday difficulties they face, they navigate through life with grace, strength, and unwavering resolve. With the support of their significant others and a resilient mindset, they continue to overcome challenges and embrace each day with optimism and determination.


This article was compiled in our latest “The Wonderful World of Allied Health Newsletter”.  Don’t miss out on the news on rehab therapy, preventative healthcare, and our team. Get the newsletter in your inbox from this sign-up link: