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This means that ‘someone may continue to exercise a substantial level of decisional autonomy, which maintains a sense of self and personhood intact, even though the execution of those decisions may involve others’ (Fine and Glendinning, 2005, p. Others have argued that the dependence/independence dichotomy is misleading and should be replaced with the notion of ‘interdependency’ based on the idea that mutual dependence is the central concern for all human beings and not just disabled or older people (Tronto, 1993; Sevenhuijsen, 1998).
Oliver claims that, in advancing the idea of independence, professionals and disabled people have not been talking about the same thing.
Professionals tend to define independence in terms of self-care activities and measure it against skills in relation to performance of these activities (Oliver, 1989).
The paper discusses the relationships between choice and independence as experienced by disabled and older people.
The findings show that independence is not a fixed concept, but is relative and multidimensional.
This, in turn, requires practitioners to understand people's concepts of independence and consider how choices they make about support services can impact on their perceived independence in the longer term.