There’s no place like Chicago! Our city is unique and dynamic, and full of an endless parade of fun things to see and do. There’s a story and a legend around every corner here, and we’re incredibly proud to call this metropolis home.
At the same time, we know that living in the Chicago area can pose some unique challenges to the elderly — which makes having access to reliable, affordable senior care all the more important.
The Benefits of Senior Care for Chicago’s Elderly
Every day in the United States, about 10,000 new people turn 65. We’re in the middle of a cultural “graying” in this country,— and it can be hard for our nation’s busy and underappreciated family caregivers to keep up.
Of those older adults, about 70% will likely need some form of long-term care in their lifetime — typically, for about 4.5 years or longer. At the same time, about 80% of adults over the age of 65 say that they would prefer to age in place in the comfort and safety of home. 80% say that their current home is the only place they want to live.
In-home care is a type of senior care uniquely positioned to straddle this divide — between the vital need for long-term care, and the overwhelming desire of older adults to age in place for as long as possible.
Also called non-medical care, respite care, or companion care, home care is designed to empower the elderly to stay in the comfort and safety of their own homes, while providing the practical and social support they need to live a more active and independent lifestyle. In this arrangement, a companion or caregiver can provide a wide variety of services designed to help empower your senior loved one, including:
- Providing assistance with routine activities of daily living (ADLs), such as sitting, standing, and walking from room to room
- Helping with grooming, bathing, dressing, and personal hygiene
- Offering safe and reliable driving services for outings, errands, appointments, and community events
- Helping with housekeeping and laundry
- Friendship and social support — including playing games, sharing meals, or going on walks
- Assisting with food shopping and meal preparation
- Offering regular medication and exercise reminders
Home care can be provided on a flexible, adaptable schedule that suits the senior’s lifestyle, while also accommodating your needs as a busy family caregiver.
It’s hard to overstate the benefits of home care, for older adults and their loved ones. Studies have shown that non-medical home care can help seniors save money and avoid hospital visits.
In studies, 25% of older adults say they feel isolated, and 30% say that they do not have regular companionship. Companion care is a crucial way to provide healthy and enriching support and friendship to these older adults.
Meanwhile, home care can give family caregivers the chance to step back, rest, and recharge — which is particularly important when you consider that caregivers often suffer from burnout, including symptoms like depression, high blood pressure, and even physical pain.
What Makes Senior Care In Chicago Unique?
Having access to dependable, affordable senior care is particularly critical here in the Chicago area!
While Chicagoland is a great place to call home for people of all ages, it also presents some unique challenges that underline the importance of safe, reliable non-medical care:
Chicago is Known for Its Extreme Weather
When it comes to weather, the Chicago area is a land of extremes. In particular, we’re known for our cold and frosty winters. Older adults are particularly susceptible to the harmful health effects of cold weather, and icy conditions can increase the risk of suffering a fall.
As locals know, summers are no walk in the park, either — with hot, humid days and the constant risk of severe storms, all of which can present challenges to older adults. .
A companion can help seniors stay safe, comfortable, and active among all of these extremes. Whether going out in summer or winter, a companion can help make sure that older adults are safely dressed and prepped for the weather, while encouraging them to stay active and engaged. A professional caregiver can provide a hand with ADLs based on the conditions outside, while also making sure that the elderly adult’s home is secure from the elements. A caregiver may be the first person who can check in on a senior’s health and well-being in an emergency situation, making them an important point of contact for the older adult’s entire caregiving network.
Making a Chicago Home Safe for the Elderly
The Chicago area is known for its legendary architecture, with world-famous structures from Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe, to name just a few.
Many older adults in our area live in vintage or unique homes, which often include features that can pose a challenge to the elderly, such as narrow staircases; poor lighting; or extensive backyards and gardens that have to be maintained.
A senior companion can make sure that older adults are able to get the most out of their time at home by providing a helping hand on the stairs, offering laundry assistance, or taking care of some light housekeeping duties. When getting started with home care, a caregiver can also provide a free assessment of the older adult’s home, and make recommendations as to how to make the space safer and easier to use — such as installing grab bars, changing out lights, adding a ramp, and so on.
The Difficulty of Getting Around in Chicagoland
The Chicago area is full of incredible, one-of-a-kind things to see and do. Opera and theater performances, legendary gardens and parks, tours and historical attractions, delicious restaurants… The list goes on and on!
Unfortunately, many of these amazing opportunities fall out of reach for older adults, who often do not have access to reliable transportation. Many older adults are unable or unwilling to continue driving as they get older. Meanwhile, taking public transportation is not realistic in the suburbs, and can be intimidating and hard to navigate in the city itself.
A companion can provide an older adult with reliable driving services, empowering them to stay active and enjoy time in their community. Driving services can help seniors stay connected with friends and family, attend social events, run errands, and keep up with doctor’s visits and other appointments.
The Challenges of Assisted Living and Institutionalized Care
As we’ve discussed, the vast majority of people say that they would prefer to age in place. Even under the best of circumstances, it can be incredibly difficult to uproot your life and transition into an assisted living facility or nursing home. Many people have owned their homes for years, and truly do feel safe and comfortable there in a way that they never could anywhere else. At the same time, many people are nervous about suffering poor health outcomes in an institutional care facility — a problem that has recently been underscored by the coronavirus pandemic.
To make matters worse, institutionalized care can be incredibly expensive in the Chicago area. Staying in your own residence is generally more cost effective than moving. In-home care does not incur the additional rent or mortgage assisted living facilities often do. Living in your own home also gives you the freedom to live according to your own priorities. You can do what you want, when you want, without having to conform to an institutional diet or schedule.
Companions for Seniors is Here to Lend a Helping Hand to Chicago’s Elderly
Interested in learning more about how you can get started with in-home care in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs? Ready to help your older loved ones enjoy all the unique benefits that our area has to offer? We are here and ready to help!
At Companions for Seniors, making life easier for elderly adults and family caregivers is our passion.We’re always here to field your questions and help you find the best course of action for both yourself and your senior loved one.
Our mission is to help seniors live independently and with dignity in the comfort of their own homes by empowering them to lead an active and enriched lifestyle, connecting them with their community, and nurturing meaningful relationships.
Our companions are trained and bonded, and can help provide a variety of services designed to help your loved one age in place with ease. As a company, we believe in fostering an open dialogue and sharing ideas; always going the extra mile with our services; and providing flexible care that’s the right price and right fit for every household.
We’re proud to be locally owned in the Chicago area, with service available in both the city and suburbs. Don’t hesitate to contact us today using our handy online portal, or give us a call at 866-910-9020 to get the conversation started.