In this post we will be discussing “Aging in Place” as well as sharing a few tips for seniors and family caregivers. When you have a senior parent, the concern for their ability to maintain their lifestyle can be a significant worry. Almost without exception, senior citizens resist the idea of moving out of their house and into an assisted living facility or nursing home.
Staying in your own home as you get older is called “aging in place.” In many cases, home-based support is provided at home by informal caregivers, such as family members, friends, and neighbors. It can also be supplemented by formal caregivers and community services. 1
You as a child of a senior may see issues of safety if your aging parent continues to live independently. If their spouse has passed on, there may be issues of loneliness and depression. Hallways and doors of old homes are often not built to accommodate walkers or wheelchairs. And the vision of your children’s Grandma or Grandpa falling and being unable to reach you for help is frightening. And then there is the financial side of maintaining their home and paying the mortgage if they haven’t already paid it off.
So the question is whether you should try to help your aging parent with moving on to an assisted care facility or if it can be worked out for them to stay in their home. There are some compelling reasons to help them stay in the house they have lived in for so long if there are ways to overcome the problems. There are many studies that show that senior who live in their own homes are a lot happier and healthier than those who live in a facility or nursing home.
Your parents may have long lasting friendships in the neighborhood who provide tremendous emotional support and can look in on your parent from time to time to assure they are safe. And the ability to get out in the yard, feed the birds, keep a pet or tend a small garden has untold health benefits both mentally and physically for seniors.
Steps can be taken to provide for the unique needs of a senior citizen if you want to work with them to keep them in their home. The family and friends of your aging parent can help take on the chores of upkeep of the home, yard work and repairs so the home continues to remain safe and viable as a living space. This also reduces the expenses that come with home ownership.
It is very likely that from a financial point of view, you can work with your elder to reduce the costs of staying in their home. If they still have a mortgage, the outstanding balance may be quite low but the payment still high. By working with the mortgage company, you may be able to refinance the loan to drop the payment considerably and make it more affordable even than living in assisted care or a nursing home.
You can also work with utilities companies and credit sources who may have programs to assist the elderly in owning their own home. By utilizing the resources already in place, you may be able to get your aging parents costs into a reasonable range and help them establish a budget that allows them to live comfortably on social security and whatever retirement funds they have.
You can also find in-home senior care companies that have trained caregivers available to help out when you are unable to be there with your aging parent. It’s also a good idea to incorporate technology like security cameras in and around the home, as well as safety devices and mobile devices. By having these devices in the home, they will have the resources to reach out to you in the event of an emergency, and you will be able to check in on them even if you’re far away. Be sure to do a little research to find the best senior caregiver company that meets your parent’s needs.
The key to making all of these steps work is to enlist the partnership of your senior parent. By sitting down with your parent, you will be able to discuss the plan of helping them “Age in Place” and they will be able to view it as a shared project with you. This will help them become enthusiastic to make the effort needed to stay in the home and environment that they love and are comfortable with.
If you have an aging parent living in the Knoxville TN area that would like to stay in their home to “Age in Place” we provide In-Home Senior Care Services that can cater to their needs. Our caregivers are highly trained and available to provide non-medical senior care for your loved one. Our in-home care services include:
- Dementia Care
- Nutritional Care
- Errands & Transportation
- Companion Care
- Respite Care
- Personal Care
- Disability & Injury
(1) Aging in Place definition – https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/aging-place/aging-place-growing-older-home