5 Steps You Can Take To Help Those Aging in Place

Interim HealthCare Blogs
Posted: 7/7/2021 9:00 AM by Interim HealthCare
Filed under: age, aging, in, place

It’s been established that most Americans prefer to remain in their own homes as they age. In fact, the more “technical” term used for this is “aging in place.”

One of the issues with aging in place is that many seniors eventually reach a point in their lives when they begin to have difficulty managing their normal daily life activities. Some of these aging adults fail to recognize the signs themselves, and others that do acknowledge it have difficulty getting help.

Ultimately, it often falls on their families or close friends to step in to help those who are aging in place.
 

Making the Choice for Aging in Place

The decision to stay at home as one gets older should be based on a thorough consideration of several important factors. 

As one care service explains

Whether you’re an aging adult considering your long-term care plan, or a family caregiver hoping to help an elder age in place, it’s important to carefully consider the senior’s needs, wants, preferences, and abilities, asking questions such as: 
  • Can they afford to remain at home? 
  • Are they able to keep up with activities of daily living (such as walking, grooming, and cleaning) or will they need some additional support from a senior companion or caregiver? 
  • Are they healthy enough to live independently, or will they need consistent medical attention or around-the-clock care? 
  • Is your loved one active and involved in their community, or are they likely to feel withdrawn or isolated staying at home? 
  • What is their personality? Will they be receptive to the idea of receiving outside help, or reluctant to let someone new into their home?
Fortunately, for most seniors, the decision to retain their sense of independence by “aging in place” is not a difficult one, even if they don’t have immediate family nearby. Unfortunately, there are too many aging parents and grandparents who feel they have no choice and may not be quite capable or self-sufficient enough to do so safely.

And this truly is unfortunate as there are many services and resources available for seniors and family members of seniors to help make this possible.

With such a large segment of our population in Sonoma County in or soon entering the category of “senior citizen” this is becoming a growing issue both here and across the country.

Even Forbes magazine has addressed this issue pointing out to seniors that,

If you want to stay in your home for as long as possible, you need to plan and prepare. You should aspire to more than living in the same home. You should want to stay there safely and independently. You should stay there only if you can maintain a desirable quality of life at a reasonable cost.

This is counter to the more common attitude and approach of too many healthy and otherwise intelligent seniors, which is to assume that once they’ve made the decision to stay then that’s enough. 

And one of the most important questions the Forbes article challenges readers to ask themselves is, Who’s going to be there to help?


Family Members as Caregivers - 5 Ways to Help Their Seniors Aging in Place

 5 Steps You Can Take To Help Those Aging in Place

1. Geriatric Healthcare Approach

The best way that families of aging seniors can help them to age in place is to educate themselves on the geriatric approach to managing health and wellbeing in older adults.

This includes avoiding risky medications, and healthcare that optimizes function and wellbeing. This approach can significantly help maintain an aging adult’s abilities to remain safely at home.
 

2. Have a Suitable Home

Choose an appropriate home for aging in place. This may not be the house where your elder parent has been living. The accessibility of the house and its location are critical for successful aging in place.

For example, having easy access to the things your parents or grandparents need for a good quality of life such as social events, exercise, good food, and favorite activities.

 

3. Coordinate with Primary Care Doctor

Be organized and proactive about addressing any health concerns. Many problems, such as increasingly limited mobility or becoming socially isolated, can often be tied to underlying health problems.

Work with your loved one’s primary care professionals to develop a plan for treating and managing any chronic illnesses.
 

4. Make Use of Elder Care Services

Know when to get help. Caring for our senior loved ones is a complex emotional, physical, and even mental undertaking. And too many avoid asking for or accepting outside help.

This is true for both aging adults as well as for family caregivers. And the task of finding trustworthy and affordable help can be challenging.

Fortunately,
Interim Healthcare is available to provide a range of eldercare services.
 

5. Employ Technology

Make use of technology solutions.

There are several new tech tools that make it easier and less expensive for seniors to get help when they need it or manage their daily living activities. But here are some ways in which they can help:
  • Have a fall detection device. Those devices known as personal emergency response systems (PERS) have been around for years, but the new generation of PERS devices feature accelerometers that can detect a fall and call for help.
  • Use a daily life activity sensor. The newer generation of personal sensors can monitor a senior’s activity patterns and can notify family members if there’s a significant change from any usual activity patterns.
  • Provide easy access to the Internet. Tools such as social media are not a substitute for interaction with real people, but they can help older adults stay in touch with family and friends who may not live close by. Many seniors use personal computers and tablets, and many are more comfortable with cell phone technology and the apps and services available there.
 

Professional and Local In-Home Care to Help Seniors Aging in Place

Finding elder and home care services in Sonoma County for those striving to age in place is an important task. When making an in-home care services choice, it’s essential to do what is best for both your aging loved one and your family. 

That is why, at Interim HealthCare of Santa Rosa, we specialize in helping determine whether a senior can remain safe and independent in their own home, and what level of assistance is needed to make that happen.

If you or an aging loved one wants to continue again in place, but feel you may need in-home care services, contact Interim HealthCare today.

At Interim HealthCare, we offer a wide variety of home care services from respite care and assisted living at home, to Alzheimer's care, and much more.

To schedule your No-Obligation in-home evaluation, or to learn more about home care services, just fill out the "Contact Us" form to the right and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Or you can call our Santa Rosa office at (707) 545-4986.

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