Aging Safely at Home
According to a survey by AARP, almost 90% of adults over 65 years old would like to remain in their homes as they grow older.
Some of the reasons for wanting to remain at home:
Independence and Control
Community, friends and family connections
Often less expensive to stay at home with extra assistance then to pay for a facility
Privacy and Comfort of familiar surroundings and belongings
Many places will not allow pets
How to make aging in place an option?
Home care services combined with technological improvements are making it easier to stay at home longer than ever before possible. Everything from telehealth to security camera monitoring devices to home shopping to smart devices is easing the way for seniors and their caregivers to age in place.
The government, health professionals and insurance companies are also getting on board with people staying in their homes. From a medical perspective, being at home can lower the risk of acquiring infections. From a financial perspective, treating a patient at home with medical care is usually much less than in a hospital or other facility.
However, if a senior wants to stay in their home, the environment must be conducive to doing so. Safety equipment needs to be installed, paid and/or unpaid caregivers should be available for those who need them, household modifications may need to be made, etc.
One excellent resource is the Department of Health and Human Services Eldercare website. They even have advice on home care modifications and what resources provide funds to pay for those upgrades to the home to make it safer.
One key component to aging in place is to have a support network of care. Health professionals, family, friends and home health care providers can work together to make it easier for a senior to stay at home. Medical services, shopping, housekeeping, personal care and companionship are all available with the right team providing them for the senior who wants to be at home.
The National Council for Aging Care https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/Resources/Factsheets/Home_Modifications.aspx" target="_blank">https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/Resources/Factsheets/Home_Modifications.aspx sums it up nicely in one sentence
“Aging in place lets you live the life you want to live, gives you the safety you need, the independence you deserve, and strengthens your relationships with the people who you consider the most important to you