The ideal for most people is aging at home. When asked, most of us express this desire. However, the average life expectancy in the U.S. is around age 79 as opposed to the 1950 average of 68. This means our money has to stretch longer as do our physical resources. A few of the challenges older adults face aging at home:
- Approximately 65% of older adults manage two or more chronic conditions.
- Similar percentages have one or more functional limitations (difficulties in daily activities or mobility), increasing with age.
- Every year, 1 out of 3 older adults fall.
Fortunately, aging in place is easier than ever despite these challenges. Many services and technologies support aging in place.
How to Age in Place
Make an aging in place plan.
Aging in place is easier than ever, but not without some forethought. As the challenges above demonstrate, most people will need support at some point to stay safe and healthy at home. This means being aware of resources, knowing how to access them, and taking steps to prevent crises.
How to go about this? Tap into an eldercare expert, just like you might a CPA for tax planning or a financial advisor for retirement planning. Set up a consultation with a care manager. They can provide an assessment.
What does this do? It evaluates your baseline, identifies potential pitfalls and issues that can be addressed now so you don’t get into a crisis, and creates a short and long-term plan. Part of that is evaluating the home for aging in place.
The assessment might identify simple changes in the home that prevent you from falling and ending up in the hospital...and then a nursing home. The care manager might recommend some points to discuss with your doctor, which end up reducing your medications or improving how you manage your conditions. You might learn about easy, inexpensive resources that will keep you happier and healthier at home.
Get a free home safety checklist to get an idea how safe your home is for aging in place.
Want to age in the comfort of your own home?
Schedule an assessment and find out how!
Take advantage of all the resources out there to help with aging in place.
If you work with a care manager, you’ll know what’s available without having to spend hours on Google and barking up the wrong trees. And, the good news is there is so much available to support you! At one time, elders pretty much had to either rely on family members for total support (which was a lot more feasible under the circumstances of aging then, but still challenging) or go to a nursing home. Today, we have a world of options...
Home care services can help you keep up with all the necessities of maintaining a household, such as:
- Laundry and ironing
- Organizing and keeping things tidy; removing clutter and fall hazards
- Dusting, vacuuming, sweeping
- Changing bed linens and making the bed
- Receiving packages, waiting for household services
- Kitchen cleaning including organizing the pantry, fridge and freezer; removing expired items and stocking new items
- Running errands and getting needed items for the home
- Minor outside maintenance/gardening assistance
- Upkeep on in-home tasks
Nutrition at Home
Older people living alone often start to eat poorly. Medications, medical conditions, and even loneliness affect appetite. Many older people find it harder to do all the tasks involved in preparing meals. And, this comes at a time when we need more nutrients to stay healthy. In-home meal preparation services solve these concerns. Caregivers can prepare tasty, healthy meals according to your dietary needs.
Our care managers also help clients find an array of solutions to nutritional needs. You can read more in our post, Three Delicious Ways to Help Your Elderly Loved One with Nutrition.
Personal Care and Help for Functional Limitations
Having some difficulty with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) is not uncommon as you age. But, this doesn’t mean you have to move to a care facility. Some people just need a little bit of help, for example with bathing or their morning routine. Home care services can be tailored to the individual’s needs, allowing you more freedom and independence. You don’t have to operate on someone else’s schedule and can stay in the comfort of home.
And, professionally trained caregivers offer safe, dignified personal care assistance. Many of us dread the idea of having relatives help with this kind of thing. And, we don’t want to go to a care facility. Therefore, we try to manage on our own. Too often, this leads to accidents and injuries. Or, it means we neglect hygiene and personal care because we are afraid. EasyLiving’s clients constantly tell us they wish they’d gotten help sooner as they feel so much better.
Difficulty self-administering medications is a major cause of nursing home placement. An estimated 3 million older adults are admitted to nursing homes due to drug-related problems. Therefore, this is an essential aspect of safely aging at home.
Home care companies can provide a range of medication management services. Our patient advocates can also help you find solutions like electronic pill dispensers and reminder systems. We can work with your medical professionals to review your medication regime. There may be ways to simplify things. Additionally, it is important to get a medication review from time to time to check for side effects, interactions, and effectiveness.
Care Coordination and Telehealth
Nowadays, aging at home when you have multiple or chronic medical conditions is much easier thanks to telehealth. Practitioners widely adopted telehealth during the pandemic, but the capabilities have been expanding for years. A lot of appointments can be done from the comfort and safety of home. And, in-home health monitoring continues to evolve. Health is not something that takes place in a hospital or doctor’s office. And, therefore, your healthcare can’t be so limited either. We discussed this in how home care is revolutionizing health care. Care coordination helps you get the best results from your healthcare.
Worried about Mom or Dad driving? You may be hesitant to tackle the problem (we can help!). Perhaps you worry about how they’ll react, but you also probably wonder how they’ll manage. Many families think this puts an end to aging at home. But, in today’s world we have so many convenient transportation options. And, seniors have even more transportation services available to them.
Schedule a care consultation today and start planning for a happy, healthy life at home as you (or your loved one) gets older: