Aging in Place
Research shows that about 90% of seniors wish to grow old in the comfort of their own homes. This is what is referred to as “aging in place”. With Canada’s increasingly aging population, this means that there are going to be millions of older adults that want to remain at home, rather than moving to a retirement home or assisted living community. It sounds like the most comfortable and satisfying solution, but is it practical or even possible?
How can seniors make aging in place a reality?
There are many challenges and concerns that come with aging in place. With age comes some degree of physical and mental decline. This inevitability throws a bit of a wrench into the mix. Physical and mental restrictions make some aspects of daily life impossible without some assistance. Therefore, it is important for seniors to have a plan in place to avoid future stress, confusion, and possible disaster.
Three ingredients necessary for making aging in place a reality, are:
Planning and preparing to remain at home is both essential and challenging. It is essential, because without the proper planning problems are bound to arise. Depending on the nature of the problem, it may threaten the entire living situation.
Planning can also be quite challenging because it is difficult to predict future needs and health levels. The first step of effective planning is to assess the current situation.
- What is the current health status of the person in question?
- Are there existing health conditions?
- Does this person live alone?
Getting an accurate read on the present can help determine what may be needed in the future. For example, let’s create a fictional person named Anna. Anna is 65 years old and lives at home by herself. She wants to stay in her home, aging in place, but she has just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Even though she is not experiencing any serious symptoms now, she may in the future, especially without effective help to treat and manage the disease. Anna will need a practical plan to get the care she needs while living at home.
Once a solid plan is in place, the next step is to focus on what type of assistance will be most beneficial. Let’s take a look at Anna again. Perhaps Anna has a daughter that provides some light home care for her a few times a week. Anna’s daughter has a full-time job and a family of her own to take care of. As Anna’s home care needs increase, she is going to need some outside help. A professional home care agency like Promyse Home Care is a perfect solution.
Promyse Home Care offers an extremely wide range of services that can not only help Anna with diabetes treatment and management, but also with her everyday tasks and activities. Establishing contact with a home care agency early on and getting matched with a compatible caregiver is good preparation for when additional care is needed.
Support is fairly similar to assistance, but not quite the same thing. Support is having people you can count on whenever the need for assistance may arise. If Anna has enlisted the services of a professional caregiver at Promyse Care, she now has additional support for when her daughter is not available. This offers peace of mind for both Anna and her daughter. Promyse Care home caregivers can provide emotional, mental, and physical support whenever it is needed.
Aging in Place – Concerns and Challenges
There are several practical and relevant challenges that may cause concern for seniors wishing to age in place. Some common challenges include:
- Social interaction
- Daily routines
Getting around becomes tougher as we get older. Decreased mobility can make walking any distance burdensome. Age or other health issues may prevent seniors from driving. Seniors aging in place will likely need to arrange transportation assistance for handling errands and appointments.
Aging at home can sometimes seem boring and lonely, especially for those that live alone. Caregivers can provide some extra social interaction along with living assistance and support.
Once tasks like housekeeping and personal hygiene become unmanageable without help, caregiver support and assistance may become indispensable.
Organizing the house to make it as safe as possible is important for ongoing health and security. Falls in the home are a big concern for seniors’ health. Caregivers can help safeguard the home to help prevent unnecessary injury.