As our culture grows and changes, it’s only natural that we should start to think about aging differently.
In the past, older family members would stay with their children until they needed more advanced care or hospitalization.
These days, with parents and children being closer than ever and in-home care becoming even more advanced in terms of what it can offer, the benefits of aging in place are all too clear. The expense and unfamiliarity of a nursing home or assisted living facility simply can’t compare to the many benefits of a stable, at-home aging process.
What’s the point of living out your golden years if you have to spend all that time adjusting to new places with strict rules and regulations?
Seniors should be able to enjoy the next phase of their lives in the comfort of their own homes, surrounded by family, friends, and the best at-home medical care. If you’ve been asking yourself “why is aging in place important,” you’ll want to keep reading.
As we get older, we’re less able to adapt to significant changes to our routines and our lives. For seniors who aren’t as capable as they used to be, it can be difficult to manage day-to-day activities and tasks such as going shopping, cooking a meal, and taking medication.
While in the recent past, the popular thing was to opt for an assisted living home for a parent who needs some extra help, children of aging parents are now realizing that keeping seniors in place as long as possible is the best option.
Even for seniors dealing with more serious issues like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and post-op recovery, they are able to get customized care for their condition without having to leave the home they’re used to.
It used to be that serious, round-the-clock medical care for seniors and people with disabilities was only available at a hospital.
Today, thanks to modern technology, seniors don’t have to travel far and wait at a doctor’s office to be taken care of.
With the right in-home care service, an aging adult can experience bespoke in-home care of their choosing. There’s no need to take long car rides or arrange transportation to an inaccessible doctor’s office.
Mental and Physical Health
When we don’t feel like we’re in control of our lives, our mental health suffers. It’s as simple as that. Add to this feeling of helplessness a sense of a completely alien environment cut off from all familiar friends, community, and routines, and you’re looking at a pretty depressed mindset.
For seniors trying to adjust to this kind of upheaval, mental health isn’t the only thing at play. Even for healthy seniors, making the transition to assisted living can end up being the wrong move.
Due to overcrowding and a limited number of live-in physicians and caregivers, your loved one could end up suffering from neglect even inside of a facility that’s created to look after your senior at all times.
Aging in place, on the other hand, allows seniors to be cared for by licensed nurses who aren’t dealing with an overloaded schedule, along with constant care and supervision from family and loved ones.
Why is Aging in Place Important?
With the baby boomer generation gaining senior status, we’re looking at a higher influx of American seniors than we’ve seen in years.
By 2030, adults 65 and over are predicted to make up nearly 20% of the population. This doesn’t just create a problem for our social security system. It means crowded nursing homes, higher prices for assisted living facilities, and a spike in care solutions for seniors.
These care solutions, however, might not be ideal, especially if you want to find the most personalized, safe care for your senior.
Aging in place isn’t just a more personalized, intuitive way of helping your senior live their best life: It’s fast becoming the most practical option available.
For adult children of seniors, finding better, more organic alternatives to the traditional nursing home or assisted living facility is becoming a huge priority. Aging in place offers a way for seniors to stay comfortable, mentally healthy, and engaged in the world around them.
What Other Considerations Come Into Play?
There are more benefits to aging in place than meet the eye.
For instance, even if you’re thinking about sending a senior to the most state-of-the-art facility, it won’t be nearly as convenient as turning their home into a completely accessible haven, equipped with grab bars, accessible bathrooms, safe walkways, and helpful lighting.
It’s much easier for seniors to get around in their own surroundings rather than having to learn the floor plan of a new unfamiliar environment.
While renovating a senior’s home for accessibility can be costly, the cost still pales in comparison to what you’ll end up paying to move your aging parent into a new environment.
Another big consideration is easy family access. While some assisted living facilities keep open hours, others tend to create more limited access when it comes to visits from friends and family members, creating a type of isolation that’s hard for seniors to get past, especially if they’re already having trouble making friends in their new environment.
What Does the Research Say?
If you can believe it, our concept of senior care has gone through quite a few revolutions since the late 1890’s. While aging in place was once a familiar concept to Americans and homesteaders, in recent years, changes in housing stock and land usage have made it surprisingly difficult for seniors to stay in their homes for longer.
With the new wave of apps and services that exist to help create a culture of convenience in modern life, it’s no surprise that in-home care has become a much more viable and sustainable option even for seniors who are dealing with long-term health issues.
While apps and other on-demand services make it easy to arrange for a sophisticated solution for independent seniors with disabilities or health issues, there’s also been a more grassroots approach to aging-in-place thanks to smaller community efforts.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.