Rather than moving into a long-term care facility as they age, many older adults prefer to stay at home for as long as possible. This may be the right choice for you if you only need minor assistance with your daily activities and enjoy a close network of nearby family and friends.
These guidelines explore the range of home care services available to help you maintain your independence within the comfort of your own home.
What is Aging in Place?
Aging in place is a term used to describe a person living in the residence of their choice, for as long as they are able, as they age. This includes being able to have any services (or other support) they might need over time as their needs change.
To be clear: the act of aging in place takes place during a period of time in an elderly personís life where they can have the things that they need in their daily life, while maintaining their quality of life.
Deciding to Remain at Home
Your home situation is unique, and several factors will weigh in on the best choice for you. Here are some of the issues in evaluating your options:
Location and accessibility.
Where is your home located? Are you in a rural or suburban area that requires a lot of driving? If youíre in an area with more public transit, is it safe and easily accessible? 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. 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. Itís important to consider proximity to community services and activities as well.
Isolation. 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. However, if you or a loved one has a chronic medical condition that is expected to worsen over time, itís especially important to think about how you will handle health and mobility problems. What are common complications of your condition, and how will you handle them?
Finances. 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 24-hour coverage.
In-Home Care Makes Aging in Place
at Home... Possible!
You may be used to handling everything yourself, dividing up duties with your spouse, or relying on family members for help. But as circumstances change, itís good to be aware of all the home care services available that might be of help. What you may need depends on how much support you have, your general health, and your financial situation.
Keeping a household running smoothly takes a lot of work. If youíre finding it hard to keep up, you can look into laundry, shopping, gardening, housekeeping, and handyman services. If youíre having trouble staying on top of bills and appointments, financial and healthcare management may also be helpful.
Transportation is a key issue for older adults. Maybe youíre finding it hard to drive or donít like to drive at night. Investigating transportation options can help you keep your independence and maintain your social network. You may want to look into local transportation such as buses, reduced fare taxis, and senior transportation options to appointments.
Help with activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, feeding, or meal preparation, is called personal care or custodial care. You can hire help with personal care, ranging from a few hours a day to live-in care. People who provide this level of care include personal care aides, home care aides, and home health aides. Home health aides might also provide limited assistance with things such as taking blood pressure or offering medication reminders.
Some health care services can be provided at home by trained professionals, such as occupational therapists, social workers, or home health nurses. Check with your insurance or health service 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, also called senior daycare, can help you keep busy with activities and socialization during the day, while providing a break for caregivers. Some day programs are primarily social, while others provide limited health services or specialize in disorders such as early stage Alzheimerís. Source: www.helpguide.org
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DISCLAIMER: Links to other websites or references to products, services or publications do not imply the endorsement or approval of such websites, products, services or publications by Elder Options of Texas. The determination of the need for senior care services and the choice of a facility is an extremely important decision. Please make your own independent investigation.