Unless you live in isolation, no one is "independent." All men are confronted with rules and laws set by society to organize their life together. The individual is constructed by inter-relationship with others, what is called interdependence. These elaborations and joint participation, this right of access to services and assets, the basis of our social interdependence.
This community of interest allows, by enshrining the collective autonomy of the open field in which individual autonomy will unfold.
Individual autonomy is defined as the ability of individuals to manage their life choices, identify themselves freely their own rules, values, projects within the norms of society.
But at a certain age, illness or disability can reduce the freedom to act and think, and thus impede future individual autonomy. To continue to live, a person confined to bed and wheelchair, or another who suffers from cognitive impairment is in a position to be dependent on another person to accompany or to perform acts of daily life that it can not do alone.
It is no less "human" provided. Each person lives regardless of their age, disability, his or her disease, a being of relationships. It is vital for all our sakes that the old and sick human being does not suffer more than the avoidance of gaze and speech of others. Whatever its condition, it depends on us it never leaves the common field of "humanitude. There remain all the more as the environment permits, the entourage (helpers, carers) will be trained to do live links to humanitude by the touches, glances, words. The work of Yves Gineste, Rosetta Marescotti and Jerome Pellissier, carers and authors of the book "humanitude" show that it is always possible to communicate, it is always possible to provide welfare to very old people, even when they are very severely affected by dementia (Alzheimer's and related).
Autonomy, dignity are facts until the last breath. It is also necessary not to crush them in ignorance and be in position to question this life, recognize that autonomy, and let it speak!