Create a Plan to Age in Place
As you age, taking control of your life will necessitate formulating a “living plan“.
There is a need to remain safe, engaged, healthy, stimulated, and (semi) independent. Each senior is unique, with variations in resources, functionality, family connections, financials. There are many individual facets to a “living plan”.
How do seniors age in place?
One solution is personalized home care. And, yes, there are obstacles to elderly home care. Staffing availability, elder needs, financial ability, living accommodations, other options or solutions. However, my belief is private home care can and is a fundamental part of the myriad solutions needed to assist in safe and healthy aging. A supervisory presence, in the form of a qualified home care provider, enables elderly “living”, monitoring, combined with human interaction and caring.
Private home care agencies will ensure the senior is eating, bathing, dressing, taking his/her medications, and hydrating. And for many elderly, the single most important element may be the socialization and human voice providing the daily assistance. Private home care agencies provide life-saving value for everyone involved. This includes individuals, families, doctors, Medicare resources, hospitals, pharmacies. When we keep elders safe, they can remain independent at home. Many times, that means they can avoid hospitalization.
It’s never easy to witness an aging family member slowing down or showing signs of safety or health related challenges. And there is no one answer to determine when an older parent, grandparent, or even a spouse might need additional care at home.
Often times, one of the knee jerk solutions is to re-locate seniors. Move them out of the house. This sometimes misses the point. Their home or apartment may not be the problem. There may be additional resources or assistance in new living environment. But there may also be hurdles to acceptance, finances, habits, lifestyle. When the solution embraces a home care aide stopping in to help throughout the day, there are benefits which address the emotion of remaining independent. Plus, this personalized service may be significantly more affordable for seniors.
When is it time to outline a “living plan”? Our elderly parents may give us observable hints and tips that provide an answer. Are you seeing signs of forgetfulness or confusion? Personal appearance is being neglected? Basic hygiene, or neglect of medical needs, is being ignored? Evidence that performing routine tasks is troublesome? Recent history of falling?
When people realize aging in place (at home) is possible, they are more likely to start to outline their own “living plan.”
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164