After living in their own home for years, your older family members may not want to leave despite needing additional care. Staying at home while they age, also known as aging in place, is familiar and comfortable. As circumstances change, they may find it more difficult to take care of themselves, and they may face new dangers in the home, such as slipping in the bathroom or on the stairs. Here are ways to help your family members maintain their independence while aging in place.
As they age, mobility issues may become more and more apparent. Difficulty walking up stairs or getting in and out of the bathtub are all common challenges which come with age. Mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs can be used so your loved one can continue moving independently, in and out of home.
Home modifications may be needed to improve your family member’s quality of life. These modifications can be simple and quick, such as installing grab bars or non-slip bath mats in the shower. They may also require significant renovations, such as installing a ramp into the home or up the stairs. Assess which modifications are necessary to allow your family member to stay at home.
Maintaining the home and personal care is extremely important to staying independent. If bathing or dressing is getting more difficult, having someone come in for a few hours each day can allow your family members to continue their activities of daily living.
Maintaining the home directly effects their quality of life. Keeping up with household chores can prove difficult if one has mobility issues. Having a someone come in a few times a week to prepare meals, do laundry and vacuum will allow your family member to stay in their home comfortably.
Unless there are serious medical considerations, it may not be necessary for your family member to move into a facility with round-the-clock medical care. If only occasional medical care is needed, having a home health nurse or caregiver come in a few times a week for medical check ups will suffice. This allows them to stay home while still receiving any necessary medical or health-related care.
In addition to providing assistance, home caregivers perform the vital task of supporting the mental and emotional well-being of their clients. Socializing and becoming a trusted companion are ways that caregivers can help, even if it is only for a few hours a week. Keep in mind the needs of your family members when looking for a professional caregiver. You are not just looking for a “fit” in terms of their medical capabilities, but also in terms of their personality.
There are many ways to keep your loved ones comfortable and staying in their homes as they age. Explore your options, and understand that there are a variety of solutions for your family members to maintain their quality of life and enjoy their golden years.