Our population is getting older. The number of people in the U.S. 65 and older will nearly double by 2050. 7,000 people will turn 65 every day for the next 17 years. Baby Boomers are deciding how they will spend the rest of their lives with independence and dignity. How and where we age will determine this.
Aging in place is just what it sounds like. It is the idea of helping elderly people age in the comfort of their own home rather than having to be moved to a group facility setting. This is where having a local licensed Home Care Agency help you is the perfect solution. Aging in place is defined by the National Aging in Place Council as the “ability to continue to live in one’s home safely, independently and comfortably.” By being able to age in their own home, people are able to be more comfortable, secure and enjoy the remaining years of their life more. Aging in place is an affordable option for those who are elderly and need some assistance.
How Does Home Care Enable Seniors to Age in Place?
Home Care is non-medical care the helps with activities of daily living (ADLs). Common ADLs include daily personal care such as:
* Bathing and feeding
* Help going to the bathroom
* Assist with grooming and dressing
Home Care also helps with managing the household and other daily tasks that don’t involve personal care, but are daily activities.
* Light housework and meal preparation
* Grocery shopping and running errands
* Driving clients to doctor appointments
* Medication management
* Companionship and recreational activities
Maintain independence: The reason for the desire to age in place expressed most often by seniors is the wish to live by one’s own rules. For many adults the loss of independence feels infantilizing and disempowering; aging in place preserves peoples’ independence, allowing them to reserve the right to eat dinner at 3pm or 11pm, to take a walk after breakfast, go see a movie in the middle of the day, and feel in control of their own lives.
Be Close: Not only to their home and possessions, but also to family, friends, and activities. Individuals who age in place can have visitors whenever they wish (instead of at prescribed times only) and keep beloved pets; in situations where one member of a couple is healthier or more mobile than the other, the two can remain together. While remaining in the home they love can be critical to aging individuals’ happiness, it’s important to remember that rates of loneliness range from 20-60% in older populations. Socialization is the key to aging in place happily and healthily.
Stay Healthier: Illnesses tend to spread faster through places where many people live together, such as assisted living facilities. Aging in place can help prevent the annual colds and flus that affect millions of Americans, and potentially reduce hospital visits and medical costs.
Keep routines: Drastic changes in routine are distressing to most people, especially those who may have had the same schedule and habits for 50 or more years. Aging in place is less disruptive because it may only involve a few smaller changes (for example, the installation of a home monitoring system or weekly visits from a new professional caregiver) instead of a move to a new place with new people and a new schedule.
Aging in place is not only good economically, but it is great for the mind. People who age in their own home tend to be happier, because they get to stay in the comfort of their own home. The concept just makes sense! Call your local Home Care Agency for an in- home evaluation.