If you even mention the words “assisted living” or “nursing home” to your parents, chances are the words make them cringe. The thought conjures up images of loneliness, being surrounded in an unfamiliar environment with people that are strangers. In fact, most seniors fear moving out of their home more than death.
In fact, nearly 90 percent of seniors want to stay in their own homes as they age even if they need day-to-day assistance. In a study conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) only 9% of seniors prefer to move to a facility where health care is provided and only 4% are amenable to moving into a relative’s home.
The desire to age in place is overwhelmingly the favorite choice.
What is Aging in Place?
The Center for Disease Control defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” It generally means as you grow older, you don’t have to move.
Why Do Seniors Want to Live at Home?
Seniors give a number of reasons for wanting to age at home. They include:
- To maintain freedom & independence
- To live by their own rules
- To stay near to their friends
- To remain in a place that is familiar
- It is less expensive than a nursing home or assisted living facility
- To prevent “relocation stress”
Many times whether an individual can stay at home or not depends on factors that include financial, healthcare and safety issues. Planning is required to accommodate the physical, mental, and psychological changes that inevitably accompany aging. Things to consider include failing eyesight and hearing, and health care needs resulting from arthritis, dementia, osteoporosis, heart disease or hypertension. Often decreased mobility and flexibility come with aging, making changes to the home essential.
Modifying a Seniors Home for Safety
At FirstLight Home Carey, our goal is to help seniors age in place as independently and with as much dignity as possible. We can provide a lot of help around the home, whether companion care, personal care or dementia care is needed. We can help with running errands, transportation, providing medication reminders, cooking healthy meals and more. Our job is to provide the support services to make aging in place possible.
What we often find is that with some modifications, a home environment is often the safest and most psychologically fulfilling place for seniors to age. It’s where they feel the most comfortable, a place that feels secure and familiar.
Many technological innovations have made it easier for seniors to remain at home. Some changes that may need to be made include:
- Grab bars in the bathrooms and bath seat in the tub and shower
- A phone in the bathroom
- Chairs that are easy to get in and out of
- Stairs that are carpeted to prevent falls
- Telephones and doorbells that can be easily heard
- Cabinet shelves and closets that make it easy to reach objects
- Well lit walkways and entrances
- Carpeting with a low pile and firm pad
- Floors have slip resistant rugs
- Doors made wide enough for a walker
When one of our Care Coordinators walks through a senior’s home, not only do we make an individualized care plan, but we make suggestions to make a home aging-in-place friendly. All of FirstLight Home Care’s caregivers are bonded and insured and our employees are covered by workers compensation and are regularly supervised. Caregivers may work for a client a few hours per day or 24 hours seven days a week.
If a senior has a medical need that requires the expertise of a RN, physical therapist or some other medical specialty, we work hand in hand with other healthcare providers to help our clients.
At FirstLight Home Care, we make aging in place possible!