If you’re planning to stay at home and age in place as a “solo ager,” you’re in good company. Around the country, a growing number of older adults plan to stay in the comfort and safety of home as they age, whether or not they have kids, siblings, or grandkids nearby.
According to a study from 2016, about 22% of Americans 65 or older say that they live alone, without immediate family or a close network of support. More specifically, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that roughly one in five adults aged 65 to 74 lives alone, as do nearly 4 in 10 adults 85 and older.
As you look ahead to life after retirement, it’s important to keep in mind that growing older does not have to mean giving up on your biggest goals!
With the right support network in place, solo agers can continue to enjoy a flexible, independent, and social lifestyle from home — while getting the support they need to remain safe and comfortable along the way.
For solo agers, home care is one long-term solution that can make a world of difference. Also known as companion care or non-medical home care, home care is all about giving older adults the support they need to live a full and enriched life. Available on a full- or part-time basis, home care can enable solo agers to enjoy access to friendly companionship, reliable driving services, and thoughtful assistance with activities of daily living, meal preparation, housekeeping, and so much more.
We know that aging in place is a chance to live the full and active lifestyle you’ve always wanted — but we also know that it can come with some unique challenges and obstacles.
Let’s look at some of the biggest goals of solo agers — and how home care can give this growing and diverse group the support they need to make the most of each and every day:
Solo Agers: Remaining Healthy and Independent
Aging in place is a safe and convenient way for older adults to continue to enjoy an independent and active lifestyle from home. Living in your own home gives you the freedom to live according to your own priorities. This can mean creating your own meals, planning your own activities, shopping at your favorite stores, sticking with your preferred healthcare providers, and connecting with your friends and family, all on your terms.
Home care can help older adults enjoy the liberty that comes with aging in place — while getting the little bit of assistance they may need to take advantage of every opportunity.
In a recent poll conducted among members of a “solo ager” Facebook group, about 35% of respondents said that they would not have help in a crisis, and 39% said that they would not have anyone to help if they were to be confined to bed. 70% said that they have not identified a potential caregiver.
With the reliable service of a trusted senior companion, you can rest assured that you’ll get the personalized attention and care you need, on a schedule that works for you — whether you’re simply looking for a trustworthy and skilled driver to accompany you on outings, or more full-time assistance with dressing, bathing, and getting around.
Staying Social and Having Fun
Loneliness and social isolation are a major public health concern among older adults, and solo agers are no exception. In that user survey of “elder orphans” aging alone, about 45% reported feeling sad; 52% reported feeling lonely; and 40% reported regularly experiencing at least a medium level of stress.
It’s hard to overstate the benefits of staying socially active, especially for older adults. Study after study has demonstrated that aging adults who maintain active friendships experience better overall health, higher quality of life, and even improved longevity.
Aging in place doesn’t have to mean being alone! With a senior companion as part of your network, you can rest assured that you’ll always have someone who can stop by to play games, share meals, and spend quality time at home. In addition, a senior companion can help you go on outings and offer driving services to help you spend more time with the people who matter most — including friends, neighbors, volunteer groups, social meetups, and members of your local church or temple.
Getting Around and Staying Connected to the Community
Driving services can give older adults who may not be able to drive the ability to live life to the fullest. According to the “aging alone” study, 50% of solo agers say that they lack access to reliable transportation — in line with reports we’ve seen from similar studies. 21% of solo agers say that they never have anyone to take them to the doctor when needed, and 44% say that they often “have a hard time getting going.”
Giving up driving for personal or medical reasons can be a difficult transition. With home care, you can continue to maintain an active and engaged lifestyle — allowing you to safely attend community events, explore local parks and museums, keep up with doctor’s appointments, run errands, and pay regular visits to friends and family.
Making the Most of a Budget
Research shows how important financial security is for solo agers. In the study published by seniorcare.com, a significant number of survey respondents said that managing money in order to enjoy life was a high priority.
Compared to other forms of long-term care, home care is convenient and affordable. Staying in your own residence is generally more cost effective than moving into an institutionalized care facility, which often comes with additional rent or mortgage payments. Staying at home also eliminates the stress and financial hassles of selling your home in an uncertain economy.
Home care is also adaptive and flexible. With non-medical home care services, you only need to pay for what you need. From receiving care a few hours a week to having a live-in caregiver 24 hours a day, there are options out there for every preference and budget.
Want to Discuss Your Goals With Chicagoland’s Home Care Experts?
Roughly 80% of older adults say that they want to enjoy the freedom and flexibility of remaining at home while they age — while research shows that nearly 70% of older adults will require long-term care at some point. Home care is an affordable, dependable, and private way to bridge this gap for solo agers, independent couples with different care needs, overworked family caregivers, and everyone in between.
Interested in learning more about what home care really means? Curious about all of your options? We’re here to help you move forward with confidence and peace of mind!
At Companions for Seniors, our mission is to help seniors live independently and with dignity in the comfort of their own home by empowering them to lead an active and enriched lifestyle, connecting them with their community, and nurturing meaningful relationships.
We are locally owned and operated in the Chicago area, with clients in the city and surrounding suburbs. Our companions are trained and bonded, and can help provide a variety of services designed to empower adults, from offering professional driving services to friendship and social support. 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 two 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 can our plan of care.
Ready to keep the conversation going with people who are truly ready to listen? We’re here for you! You can reach out online right here, or give us a call at 866-910-9020 whenever you’d like to learn more.