Assisted Living and Identity Issues

What’s an Identity?

Identity is a psychological concept that applies to all of mankind. We all have an identity, which basically makes up our qualities, personality, expressions, beliefs and looks.

man grabbing head without clear identity

As we get older, we start to define ourselves: “That’s just how I am.” Or, “That’s not me.”

Our identities help us filter out what’s relevant for us and what isn’t. It also helps us fit in and feel a sense-of-belonging with similar people.

Fixed Identity

Identities are highly adaptive and help us navigate life. But they also have their dark side. When your identity becomes ‘you’ for long enough, it can get rigid. You see your identity as something fixed.

The issue is when life situations call for flexibility.

A stay at an assisted living facility, for example, can deal a heavy blow to your identity. Since needing to come onto others’ assistance wasn’t part of the entrenched description, you simply don’t identify with it. And this causes you to suffer.

Flexible Identity

The good news is that by allowing yourself to take on a new facet to your identity, life can be really good (especially at Delmar Nursing and Rehabilitation).

The idea is that it’s not about a loss of identity but an expanded one.

No, it isn’t easy. And there may be good reason why you don’t want to take on this addition to your identity. But as you cultivate acceptance, you may see the situation in a different light and ultimately welcome the change as an addition to identity rather than a foreign replacement.

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