As we age, we want to keep the same independence and lifestyle we are accustomed to. As a result, aging in place at home is the ideal situation for most seniors.
Aging in place describes a situation where seniors can continue to live safely in their own homes. Aging in place aims to help seniors maintain independence, quality of life, and control over their living environment as they age. This is typically a great option for seniors because there is comfort in being able to stay in your home. Developed routines and habits can remain unchanged. A sense of independence is untouched and having everything you need around you helps maintain a sense of security.
Is Aging in Place Right for You?
Aging in place is not always as easy as it sounds. As we get older, daily tasks become more difficult and socializing with others becomes less frequent. One thing that can help is creating a support system for yourself, made up of family, friends, and caregivers. Developing a support system and a plan to stay independent at home safely is crucial to aging in place successfully, especially if you are aging in place alone.
Ways In-Home Caregiving Can Help Support Aging in Place
Caregivers can provide essential support for seniors who are aging in place at home. They can help people maintain physical and mental health in the following ways:
Regular communication. Socialization significantly impacts our mental wellness and happiness. Having a caregiver allows you to have someone to interact with regularly. You can converse about each other’s day, tell stories from the past, or talk about things happening in the area. It is also beneficial to have someone who can check in on how you are doing physically and determine if your needs are being met, as well as how you can be best supported.
Assess needs. In some cases, home modifications can help seniors age in place more comfortably and safely. For example, modifications are sometimes necessary for someone with balance issues, to make household items easier to reach. A caregiver can help assess your physical needs and tailor any home modifications to your abilities and preferences
Modifications to the home can include installing grab bars, non-slip flooring, walk-in showers, ramps, or stairlifts. Below is a list of modifications that may help when aging in place:
- Grab bars provide support and stability in bathrooms, hallways, and stairways. They can help prevent falls and assist with standing and sitting.
- Handrails, like grab bars, provide support and stability on stairways and can also be helpful in other areas where seniors may need support while walking.
- Replace door handles with lever handles instead of round handles, which are easier to grip and turn.
- Non-slip flooring helps prevent slips and falls, especially in bathrooms and kitchens.
- Walk-in showers can make bathing easier and safer for seniors with mobility or balance issues. Installing a shower chair helps as well.
- Ramps in entryways and outdoor spaces with steps or stairs can make these areas more accessible for seniors who use wheelchairs or walkers.
- Brighter lighting can help seniors see better and navigate their homes more safely. Adding task lighting in kitchens and bathrooms can also be helpful.
- Smart home technology, such as voice-activated devices or automatic lighting, can help seniors control their environment more easily and independently.
Assist with daily tasks. You may need assistance with daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and shopping. Your caregiver can ensure you have access to the appropriate community services to help you, such as meal or grocery delivery services and other types of assistance.
Promote healthy habits. Your caregiver can assist you in maintaining regular exercise, a balanced diet, and staying hydrated. This can help prevent health issues and promote your overall well-being.
Stay organized. Your caregiver can help keep track of your important information, such as medical appointments, medication schedules, and emergency contacts. They can also help schedule doctor visits, social outings, and home maintenance.
Meal preparation. Caregivers can assist with meal planning and preparation, grocery shopping, and running errands.
Housekeeping: A caregiver can help you with light housekeeping duties such as laundry, dishes, vacuuming, disinfecting hard services, and bed linen changes.
Mobility assistance: Caregivers can support seniors who may need help getting in and out of bed, walking, and transferring to and from chairs or other furniture.
Transportation: Caregivers can provide transportation to appointments, social engagements, and other activities.
These are just a few examples of how caregiving can support seniors and help them age in place at home. Call Homewatch CareGivers of Sparks-North Reno to learn more about how we can assist you or your senior loved one.