In the past, it has been common for seniors to abandon their homes of many years and move into assisted living facilities or nursing homes. The consequent feelings of anonymity an isolation are common with such a dramatic transfer. These days, however, it is far more emotionally satisfying and economically pragmatic to allow seniors to age in their own homes with the added layer of support provided by in-home care which is widely available.
The range of services include those from basic housekeeping and companionship to in-home dementia care, in-home palliative care or full-time life maintenance. Professional caregivers are trained, carefully screened with extensive background checks.
Why Aging in Place is Preferred
First of all, seniors prefer it. Over 90 percent of seniors surveyed have stated they would prefer to age in their own homes rather than move to a more structured environment. The biggest reason they give is that they wish to maintain what level of independence they can for as long as they can. Staying in their own home preserves a level of dignity – particularly since they continue to live in a structure they have worked much of their lives to meet their own level of comfort.
By living at home, seniors are allowed much greater flexibility. There are no designated mealtimes or mandatory activities in which they must participate. They get to engage in the activities of their own choice – or none at all, if they prefer. Family and friends are much more likely to visit and interact with seniors in their homes than the formality of visiting an institution.
Family members can relax knowing one-on-one attention provides a far safer environment for their loved ones. At the same time, seniors, even with full time help, will tend to self-care and get a feeling of staying in charge of their own lives for as long as possible.
Establishing a formal plan of care allows the senior and the caregiver to fully understand the nature and the amount of support a senior wants and needs. By regularly reviewing it with the patient and the family, everyone is on the same page. As a senior ages, the level and amount of care can be expanded as needed. By developing a spirit of cooperation, a senior may easily live out his or her life in the home they love and in an environment they feel most comfortable.
Aging is rarely easy, but it can be done comfortably and with respect – and in a familiar environment.