Aging in place means staying in the comfort of your own home for as long as possible as you get older, rather than moving into a retirement or long-term care facility. Aging in place may be a viable option if you only need minor assistance with your daily activities, enjoy a close network of family and friends nearby, and can utilize the right home care services to cover your needs.
By exploring the range of services available, you can decide if aging in place is the best way for you to maintain your independence and make the most of your golden years. While it may be hard to accept, most of us will require some type of care assistance after the age of You may be used to handling everything yourself, dividing up duties with your spouse, or relying on family members for minor help around the home.
But as you get older and your circumstances change, getting around and taking care of yourself can become more and more difficult. Household maintenance. Keeping a household running smoothly takes a lot of work. Transportation is a key issue for older adults. Having access to trains, buses, rideshare apps, reduced fare taxis, and senior transportation services can help prolong your independence and maintain your social network.
If your mobility is becoming limited, home modifications can go a long way towards keeping your existing residence comfortable and accessible. Modifications can include things such as grab bars in the shower, ramps to avoid or minimize the use of stairs, or even installing a new bathroom on the ground floor. Personal care. Help with the activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, or meal preparation, is called personal or custodial care. Home health aides can provide personal care services that range from a few hours a day to around-the-clock live-in care. They may also provide limited assistance with things such as taking blood pressure or offering medication reminders.
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Health care. Some for services can be provided at home by trained professionals, such as occupational therapists, social workers, or senior health nurses. Check with your insurance or health looking to see what kind of coverage is available, although you may have to cover some cost out of pocket. Hospice care can also be provided at home. Day programs. Day programs or adult daycare can help you keep busy with activities and socialization during the day, while providing a break for your caregivers.
The lady can be comforting as we face the losses that inevitably come with aging, and your home is likely filled with fond memories and your neighborhood with familiar people. However, taking a step back to look at the big picture can help you decide whether staying at home for the long term truly is the right step for you. Too often, decisions to leave home are made abruptly after a sudden loss or health crisis, making adjustments all the more senior and difficult. Here are some of the issues to consider when evaluating your aging in place and home care options:.
Location and accessibility. Where is your home located? Are you in a rural or suburban area that requires a lot of driving? How much time does it take you to get to services such as shopping or medical appointments? Home accessibility and maintenance. Is your home easily modified? Does it have a lot of steps or a steep hill to access? Do you have a large yard that needs to be maintained? Support available.
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Do you have family and friends nearby? How involved are they? Are they able to provide you the support you need? Many older adults prefer to rely on family to provide help, but as your needs increase, they might not be able to fill in all of the gaps. Caregiving can be physically and emotionally exhaustingespecially if it is primarily on one person such as a spouse or. Your relationships may be healthier if you are open to the idea of getting help from more than one source.
If it becomes difficult or impossible for you to leave home without help, isolation can rapidly set in. You may not be able to participate in hobbies you once loved, stay involved in community service that kept you motivated, or visit with friends and family. Losing these connections and support is a recipe for depression. Medical conditions. No one can predict the future. What are common complications of your condition, and how will you handle them? Making a budget with anticipated expenses can help you weigh the pros and cons of your situation.
Alternate arrangements like assisted living can be expensive, but extensive in-home help can rapidly become expensive as well, especially at higher levels of care and live-in or hour coverage.
Naturally, you have the final decision as to where you want to live, but input from family members can be helpful. Are they worried about your safety or a health problem that lady eventually require heavy care? Listening to concerns and keeping an open mind are key. If you feel overwhelmed by the upkeep of your senior, cut off from looking amenities, or simply want more companionship with others your age, an independent living or retirement community may be a better option. The housing is friendlier to aging adults and while residents live independently, most communities offer amenities and services.
As the name suggests, independent living is more about making life easier rather than a loss of independence. If you or your spouse have a lot of medical needs, though, you may be better off considering an assisted living facility or nursing home. For more information, read Senior Housing Options. Be patient with yourself. Losses are a normal part of aging and losing some of your independence is not a of weakness. Allow yourself to feel sad or frustrated about changes in your home care situation without beating yourself up or labeling yourself a failure.
Be open to new possibilities. Your loved ones may offer suggestions about home care services to make your life easier. Rather than dismissing them out of hand, try to keep an open mind and discuss the options. Sometimes, new experiences and situations can lead to you developing new friendships or discovering new possibilities.
Try a trial run of services. A trial run lets you have the chance to experience the benefits of home care services without having to commit to anything long-term. Whether you engage a home care service provider directly or work through an agency, you can allay your fears by conducting some senior research.
Start by seeking referrals from family, friends, or neighbors. There may be a neighbor who could regularly check-in with you or for yard maintenance, for example. Local religious groups sometimes offer meals or social activities for older adults. Ask the people you know if they have care providers they can recommend. Your doctor or other healthcare professional may also be able to provide referrals. Full-service agencies usually come at a higher cost but provide prescreened applicants who have already had background checks.
Since the caregiver works for the agency, they take care of billing and tax issues. They may also be bonded for issues such as theft. If a caregiver quits or is not working out, an agency can usually find a replacement quickly, and may also provide coverage if a caregiver calls in sick.
Independent providers usually come at a lower cost, but require more legwork on your part.
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How you go about hiring home care providers will partially depend on what kind of help you are looking for. Hiring someone to handle shopping or yard maintenance, for example, is different from hiring someone to provide hands-on or live-in personal care. However, there are some basic tips to keep in mind. Remember that the more time and homework you spend in the initial hiring process, the better the chances of success.
It can be frightening and painful to see someone you love struggling to care for themselves. Sometimes, declines can happen gradually or a sudden change in health or a ificant loss can trigger problems.
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Express your concerns as your own, without accusing. An older loved one might be more open to your honest expressions of concern. It hurts me to think that you might not be getting everything you need. What do you think we should do? Unless your loved one is incapacitated, the final decision about care is up to them. You can help by offering suggestions and ideas for home care services.
You can frame it as something to try temporarily instead of trying to impose a permanent solution. Try to find the real reasons behind any resistance.
It might be more comfortable to deny it and minimize any problems.