Aging at Home: How to Stay in Place
Aging at home can be one of the best options for your loved one and their wellbeing. What exactly does aging at home mean and how can you determine whether your loved one can “age at home”? Today’s blog will go over these topics to help family caregivers make informed decisions about their loved one’s health and safety.
Aging at home (also known as “aging in place”) is essentially postponing or completely “avoiding the move to an assisted living facility or nursing home.” It does not necessarily mean your loved one stay at their current place of residence, as it may be somewhat unsafe because of stairs, etc. It can also mean moving to another home that is easier to navigate, like a one-story apartment building or a small house near close family members.
The point of “aging at home” is to maintain your loved one’s independence by making their home safer and to avoid the many costs that are associated with assisted living facilities and nursing homes. (Note: That is not to say that assisted living facilities or nursing homes are bad choices because they may be the safest option for your loved one–this decision takes a lot of thought and consideration.)
Questions to Ask
Helping your loved one age at home takes a lot of planning. It can be hard to know exactly what to expect, and you are not expected to know all the answers. But there are some questions you can ask that you and your loved one can discuss to make the decision easier to make.
Is their current situation safe? It will be helpful to think about ways that your loved one’s current living situation could pose some risks for falls. For example, do they live in a two-story house with stairs? Is the majority of the house tiled (and, thus, more prone to be slipped on)? This will be helpful in determining whether their current living situation is the best one for them. If it is not, then you may consider finding another living space that is safer, like a one-story house or apartment. Or, you can consider remodeling your loved one’s current home to make it accessible for them, like installing a stair lift on the stairwell, laying down carpets, etc.
Is their current living space affordable? This is one of the biggest challenges that comes with elder care. Sometimes, it is cheaper for every party involved if your aging loved one moves to a cheaper (and safer) living space. Having an open conversation about finances can be helpful in making this determination.
Are they close to resources? It can be helpful to consider whether your loved one is nearby important resources like hospitals, counseling centers, grocery stores, entertainment locations etc. These resources can be very beneficial for your loved one and having them close by can make their living situation a lot easier and manageable.
Can they easily ask for help? Does your loved one have technology in place, like emergency call buttons, to make sure they can ask for help immediately? If not, it is worth considering installing such technologies for your loved one’s continued safety and independence.
There are many factors involved in determining what is best for your loved one. The place to start is to speak with your loved one about their direct concerns. Then, see how you can help them make changes as necessary. If you have any more question, please call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.
 Source: https://health.usnews.com/wellness/aging-well/articles/2018-04-27/tips-to-help-you-age-in-place