Growing older at home can come with some truly special advantages. For family caregivers, though, it can be intimidating to think of a senior loved one living at home all by themselves. Fortunately, there are more ways than ever for older adults to enjoy all of the benefits of aging in place – while also staying connected to friends, family, and community.
The Benefits of Aging In Place
According to research from the AARP, nearly 90 percent of older adults say that they want to age in place for as long as possible. Many seniors feel a strong sense of sentimental attachment to their homes, having lived in them for years or even decades. In many cases, older adults also have fond memories forever associated with their homes – from pleasant stories of raising their kids, to exciting recollections of celebrating holidays surrounded by friends and family.
Just as importantly, staying at home allows seniors to remain in control of their own lifestyle. It allows seniors to be more independent and self-sufficient, empowering them to make their own choices and live the life they choose – all while living in a place that is familiar, comfortable, and safe.
Aging in place also grants seniors more flexibility and freedom than many other forms of long-term care. It’s a great way for older adults to remain connected to their community and stay close to friends and family, and can even help seniors remain healthy and happy!
Aging in place tends to be significantly more convenient – and affordable – than uprooting the senior and moving them into an expensive, restrictive institutionalized care facility.
Loneliness and Isolation: A Health Challenge for Senior Adults
Of course, aging in place can also come with its share of health and lifestyle challenges. For example? Many families fear that aging in place will mean that their senior loved one is forced to live a life of solitude and isolation.
Loneliness and social isolation are a significant challenge for the elderly. Millions of seniors across the country report feeling lonely on a regular basis – and over time, loneliness and isolation can lead to some negative health consequences, ranging from depression to chronic illness.
As a loving family member to an aging adult, it can be a bit frightening to think of your loved one living alone in a big, empty house. Will they become lonely or withdrawn? Who will be there to help if they have an accident, or need assistance? As a family caregiver, you may only have limited time to spend with your aging loved one. You may have kids of your own to care for, or even live miles away, perhaps in a different state. Even if you make it a point to be with your senior loved one as much as possible, won’t there still be times when they’ll have to be alone?
These are all natural concerns! However, it’s also important to remember that…
Aging In Place Doesn’t Have to Mean Being Alone!
For many seniors, aging in place is a powerful way to live the life they’ve always wanted – including connecting with their community and nurturing meaningful new relationships.
There are countless ways to help the senior in your life continue to live at home, while remaining connected to others! In fact, living at home may be one of the easiest ways for seniors to keep up fulfilling relationships over time.
For older adults, living at home often means feeling a strong connection to their neighborhood or community. Aging in place can allow seniors to remain close to their local support network, including neighbors and friends. Staying at home can allow older adults to continue to shop at their favorite businesses, and attend gatherings at their local community center or religious organization.
Just as importantly? There are more services than ever that can empower older adults to age in place safely and independently – while remaining socially connected. Local delivery services can make an enormous difference by bringing food or fresh clothes to your senior loved one. In addition to helping your senior loved one meet their needs, these volunteers and workers often become friends and familiar faces. Similarly, more and more doctors are expanding their services to include house calls for elderly adults living at home. More and more gyms and community centers are focusing on senior activities, from exercise groups, to organized outings, to continuing education classes.
At the same time, advances in technology have brought about some amazing opportunities for seniors to remain connected to friends and family, even from a distance. Studies have shown that using video chat services can make an enormous difference in helping seniors feel socially fulfilled and close to others, for example.
How Home Care Can Help
Finally, keep in mind that there also proven, professional services designed to help elderly adults age in place while staying socially active – including home care provided by a senior companion.
With home care, an experienced senior companion can help provide the support it takes to help an elderly loved one age in place in the comfort and safety of home – including assisting with activities of daily living (ADLs), helping with light housekeeping and laundry, assisting with cooking and meal preparation, offering medication and exercise reminders, and providing dependable transportation services.
Many of the services offered by a senior companion can help seniors remain socially active, and engaged with their community. For instance, having access to reliable transportation can make it much easier for an elderly adult to continue to attend worship services, community events, and family gatherings. Similarly, having support at home can make it easier for seniors to entertain guests, including family and friends. A companion can also help seniors use technology to stay in touch with their loved ones, or go out and enjoy the great outdoors with a day trip to a local garden, or a simple stroll around the block.
Just as importantly? Beyond giving seniors the personalized attention they need to thrive, a professional caregiver can offer true friendship and social support to your elderly loved one. A companion is a reliable and trustworthy friend, a smiling face who is always there to help your senior loved one feel better. From playing games, to going on fun outings, to sharing a meal, your loved one’s companion can be an ally and confidant, always there to bring a little bit of laughter and joy into their day.
About Companions for Seniors
Curious about other ways to help your senior loved one remain active and social, while aging in place? Looking for caregiving and companionship services in the Chicagoland area? If you have any questions about caring for the older adult in your life, don’t hesitate to reach out to Companions for Seniors! We’d be happy to be your sounding board, share our experiences, and talk over any questions or concerns you may have about any aspect of caregiving for your aging loved ones.
Our companions are trained and bonded, and can help your family shoulder some of the responsibility of caring for an aging loved one. We help provide seniors with a higher quality of life, while also offering respite and peace of mind for family caregivers who might need some support. Our companions help stimulate our clients physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, empowering them to live an active, independent, and enriched lifestyle.
Have any more questions about Companions for Seniors? Want to get in touch? Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 866-910-9020, or fill out our online contact form today.