Aging in place is a growing trend across America. Many seniors feel that the house they have spent decades making a home out of is the best place for them to grow old in, and no other place will feel quite right.
This is completely understandable, and for our valued veterans who went to war to protect our country, honoring their choice is one of the most important things we can do. If you are a veteran who wishes to age in place, or have a loved one that has made their wishes known, here are some tips for fulfilling those wishes.
Assess their needs
Many veterans (4.7 million of them, in fact) have a wartime related injury. These injuries may make it harder for them to do day-to-day tasks as they age. This could include things as simple as cooking dinner, going up and down stairs, or getting around to appointments.
Listen when your loved one has a complaint or problem with their living situation. There may be a straightforward way to make life easier for them.
Improve the home if possible
While there’s not much that can be done about a set of steps, a home can be made much safer in a variety of other ways. Replacing a high-sided tub shower with a walk-in shower can make the bathroom less risky for slip and falls.
Grab bars, shower seats, and raised toilet seats can all also contribute to making the home safer and more comfortable.
It’s also good to think about the home not just as the place your veteran plans to age in, but also where a caregiver will eventually be. By viewing it as a caregiving space and taking steps to make it more friendly to caregiving, you can help make this step easier.
This means looking for ways to open up the home if possible, so that there is more room to move around for multiple people in each room. This is especially the case if it is a tight and narrow bathroom, or if there’s a cramped hallway.
There are programs available for veterans specifically so they can age in place if that is their wish. Veteran Direct Care helps pay for home care, so a veteran wishing to age in place can get the help they need.
Home care can help for a surprising range of difficulties associated with aging in place. While caring for the individual, a caregiver can also help prepare meals, clean the home, and provide assistance with hygiene and other tasks that may have become difficult.
Veteran Direct Care can also be used for respite care to relieve a family caregiver, so they can be refreshed and in a better frame of mind to continue handling care between respite visits.
There are several other programs associated with receiving home care for veterans wishing to age in place, but some of them may be available in specific locations only. It’s best to check with the VA to see which programs are available in your area.
For information on how veterans can pay for home care, please contact the experienced and professional caregivers at Homewatch CareGivers of Ellicott City today. We’re ready and equipped to care for your veteran loved one. It would be an honor to serve them.