According to reports from the AARP, roughly 90 percent of older adults would prefer to remain in their own home as they age, rather than uprooting to expensive, institutional care.
But while aging in place may be older adults’ preferred living situation, is it really the best option for them — or for the family members who look after their health and wellbeing?
Ultimately, everyone is going to have a different experience with aging in place. Some people, for instance, may have unique medical needs that are going to require full-time attention, which can make staying home much more difficult, if not impossible. In other cases, a senior’s home environment may not be conducive to remaining in place. Their current space could simply be too dangerous, or unsuitable for the health needs and physical capabilities of an older adult.
In many other cases, though, aging in place will be the best possible arrangement for seniors, and for their family caregivers.
Remaining at home during their golden years can allow the senior in your life to experience the very best of life, all while staying in an environment that is familiar, comfortable, and safe. With a little bit of assistance and adjusting, aging in place is more than just an option; it is the best possible lifestyle for many seniors, one that also offers greater ease and peace of mind to their family and friends.
Here are five of the greatest benefits of aging in place for elderly adults and their families:
1.) Greater Independence
Staying in their own home grants older adults a much greater level of freedom and independence than they might have in other settings, such as assisted living or a nursing home. When a senior ages in place, they get to experience life on their terms, in the house that they helped shape into a home. When aging in place, older adults get a greater level of control over their personal lives. This can lead to higher levels of happiness, fulfillment, and personal satisfaction – all important things that can help older adults feel better and live more healthfully, in the long-term.
2.) Healthier and Safer Living Environment
Institutional care, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, often bring together large groups of residents to live under one roof. At the same time, support staff and professional caregivers come in and out of those facilities all the time. In some cases, being around so many people, in such a public setting, can cause health and safety concerns for seniors. Studies suggest that viruses and infectious diseases can spread fairly easily in these communal environments, putting older people at risk.
And at the same time, transitioning into institutional care often means uprooting older adults from their familiar environment, their support system, and their normal routine. This can lead to anxiety and depression, as well as feelings of loneliness and isolation. Over time, increased levels of stress and discomfort can actually have negative consequences for seniors’ physical health, as well as their quality of life.
3.) Greater Comfort
How much does your home mean to you? According to findings from a report brought to our attention by the American Society on Aging (ASA), 56 percent of those 65-74 years old, and 63 percent of those 75 years or older, say that their homes’ “emotional” value is more important to them than its monetary value. “Home is where the heart is,” after all.
When aging in place, a senior is able to continue living the lifestyle they want, in an environment that is familiar and full of warm memories. Instead of having to adapt to a new place, perhaps full of new people to get to know or new systems to understand, older adults who remain in place can continue to enjoy the comforts they’ve gotten used to. If a senior requires additional help or support, there are many different home care and support programs available, which can help provide meal preparation, driving services, friendship, and more, all in the comfort and security of the senior’s home.
4.) Easier to Stay Close to Family and Friends
In many cases, aging in place will make it easier for seniors to continue seeing their friends and family as often as they’re used to. Staying close and connected to a social network is incredibly important for older adults.
For one thing, when older adults remain connected to their loved ones, they often have people they can turn to for help, whether with day-to-day activities of daily living, or in the event of a more serious incident. It’s hard to overstate how beneficial it can be for older adults to have an established, local support network nearby.
It’s also difficult to overstate how beneficial it can be for elderly adults to be able to continue spending time with their adult children, grandkids, neighbors, and friends. Staying socially connected has been shown to have numerous health benefits for seniors, including lowering their risk for developing certain diseases, increasing longevity, and boosting feelings of happiness and satisfaction.
5.) Convenience and Cost Savings
Finally, it’s important to consider the other benefits that can come with remaining in place for seniors, including convenience and cost-savings. To put it simply, it is often much easier and more affordable to take the steps necessary to help the senior in your life continue aging in place, rather than moving them into institutional treatment.
Home care services, for instance, are typically significantly less expensive than assisted living facility costs, which often cost thousands of dollars per month – before transportation, medical treatments, and other costs associated with aging are even factored in. What’s more, many of these housing options do not accept long-term care insurance, or other forms of payment assistance.
Even better, with home care, you and your loved one have a much greater level of control over their care and support service. For instance, you can choose who you want to provide home care service, and on what schedule. In contrast, a senior in institutional care has much less of a say over who they work with, and when.
Are You Looking to Help an Elderly Loved One Age in Place?
Do you have a loved one who wants to age in place, who could also benefit from the companionship and support of a trained professional caregiver?
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, making aging in place easier, safer, and more enjoyable. 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.