According to research from the AARP, roughly 90% of seniors would prefer to stay in their own home as they age for as long as possible.
This makes sense! After all, this is a place that they know and love, full of memories and good feelings – of kids growing up, of spouses moving in together, of memorable parties and family celebrations.
But is staying at home really the best option for your loved one? And what can you do to make aging in place an easier undertaking, for your loved one and yourself alike?
The Risks and Rewards of Aging in Place
We all know the details of our own homes intimately, so this is a place where your parent already knows how to best move around furniture, to stock the fridge, to make sure that the garden thrives to its fullest potential. They know how long it takes to get to the grocery store, or when the next door neighbor will be home to get together for a chat. It’s often just more convenient to remain in place, in many ways.
And this is not to mention how daunting it can be for an elderly adult to take on a major undertaking, like moving into an assisted living facility. Such major shifts can be intimidating for seniors (and people of all ages, quite frankly). Staying in place offers a sense of continuity and calmness; this familiar, much-loved home is an anchor, even in the face of other significant life changes.
What’s more, aging in place has been tied to real, practical benefits. Research has shown that aging in place can help seniors:
- Maintain key social bonds and networks
- Maintain independence for longer
- Delay the symptoms of memory loss
- Stay comfortable and avoid stressors
But, with all this being said, as a loved one watching over or caring for an aging parent, the idea of a parent staying put for a long period of time can be stressful. Just as it’s only natural for your parent to want to remain in place, it’s natural for you, as a caring family member, to think about some of the aspects of living at home that your parent might not:
- How will your loved one get around? Should they be driving? Is there accessible public transit nearby?
- Will your loved one be able to get around their home easily? Are key rooms, such as the bedroom or bathroom, set up for adults with more limited mobility?
- What will happen if they can’t keep up with the amount of housework, like gardening, cleaning, doing the laundry, or so on?
- Could your parent starts to feel secluded or isolated living at home alone?
- What if your parent suffers a fall, or some other medical emergency? Who will be able to help?
Bottom line? Figuring out the best way to care for your parent – while honoring their wishes to stay at home – can be a tricky situation navigate, for both older adults and the family caregivers who love and support them.
One way to offer your parent the flexibility and freedom that comes with staying at home, with the security and support that they need, is to look into hiring a professional in-home caregiver.
The Benefits of Non-Medical Home Care
Non-medical home care is a great way to help your parent age in place. In this arrangement, a trained caregiver, also called a companion, regularly spends time with your parents on a set schedule. This is a great way to ensure that your loved one has social support from a friendly face, as well as someone to help implement a personalized care plan designed for their needs.
A professional companion can assist your aging parent with important tasks such as:
- Keeping up with housekeeping chores
- Cooking and meal prep
- Sharing a meal with a friend
- Driving to appointments, social events, or to run errands
- Caring for a pet
- Remembering medications
- Safely completing Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as grooming, bathing, and dressing
With non-medical home care, you’ll be able to retain the services of a companion, for as much or as little as you and your parent need.
In many cases, companions can provide support and assistance to your loved ones every day, or as little as an hour or two per week. It all depends on several factors, including the level of care your parent needs, and your schedule as a family caregiver. Because of this flexibility, professional companionship is often a lot less expensive than institutional care, while offering greater personal attention and support.
Getting Started With In-Home Care
Have any questions about what it takes to get started with professional in-home care?
Do you have a loved one who wants to age in place, who could benefit from the companionship of a trained caregiver?
Or are you a family caregiver who could use some respite, and the chance to rest and recharge – for the sake of yourself, and your loved ones?
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Companions for Seniors to continue the conversation. We’re a home care company locally owned in the Chicago area, with clients in the city and suburbs.
At Companions for Seniors, we provide companionship for seniors in the comfort and security of their own homes. Through our support and friendship, we empower the elderly to lead an active and enriched lifestyle, connecting them with their community and nurturing meaningful relationships.
Companions for Seniors provides a free in-home assessment of your current situation, and in most cases we can be up and running in just a few days. We understand that every situation is unique, so we provide a personalized care plan that’s modified to meet each client’s specific needs. As a client’s situation changes, so does our plan of care. From one hour to 24 hours a day, we can be there for your loved one.
All of our companions are bonded and insured, and trained to the highest industry standards. And more than that? Our companions genuinely love and believe in what they do.
Have any more questions? Want to get in touch? Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line today, either by phone or using our online contact form, available here.