Dorothy, the protagonist in the timeless Wizard of Oz, is not the only one to believe that “there’s no place like home.” A recent national poll conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons revealed that over 76% of participants 50 years and older prefer to stay in their current homes or communities for the long term. 34% of poll participating seniors also reported that they believe home renovations would be necessary in order to suit their changing physical and health needs as they age. However, many are still motivated to make these adjustments, despite the costs involved. This is due to their deep value for the comfort of remaining in their familiar environment, including vendors, neighbors, and their personal property. It's not difficult to understand why most people feel comfortable aging in their current homes. Moving to an assisted living facility can be difficult. New friends and routines can be challenging, as can the prospect of giving up belongings accumulated over several decades.
Caregiving family members of seniors, as well, believe that aging in place is the ideal choice, both for the well-being of the patient and for the peace of mind it can afford their family members. Yet, caring for an aging loved one demands significant amounts of energy, and often brings on heightened stresses. With this in mind, family caregivers are most often eager to learn about Medicare or Medicaid benefits their loved one qualifies for and rely on professional assistance for easing the myriad of responsibilities caring for an elderly loved one entails.
Research on the topic of aging in place has shown that older adults who live at home enjoy various benefits that would otherwise be inaccessible to them if they would transfer to a facility. Here we offer a comprehensive outline of how hired caregivers can be of assistance, as well as the benefits patients enjoy while living at home:
1. Increased Independence
Older adults who remain in their homes enjoy much more freedom and independence than those who live in assisted living facilities or nursing homes. Moving from an apartment or private home to a senior living facility or skilled nursing facility may address immediate safety and health concerns, but the trade-offs can be steep for older individuals who are still capable of living mostly independently. Having to live in someone else's space involves living by another's rules, including conforming to set meal times, structured activity schedules, and numerous regulations that can be less than appreciated.
Seniors who age in place are able to live life on their own terms, with more privacy, even when under the professional care of a hired aide. When aging in place, older adults are able to exert a greater level of control over their personal lives, choosing their routines, making decisions, and maintaining a sense of stability in the house they invested in and transformed into a home. This can lead to higher levels of happiness, fulfillment, and personal satisfaction– all critical factors that contribute to better physical function, improved mental health, and a higher quality of life.
2. Connection to Family and Friends
Keeping the same social network as they age allows seniors to continue to stay connected to their friends and family. Not only do older adults have the opportunity to remain near their friends, but they can also host social events in their homes if they wish. On the other hand, in an effort to maintain professional standards, facilities need to enforce regulations and restrictions that limit a resident’s family members and may cause them to find visiting their loved one less than convenient, formal, or even unpleasant. Children are more likely to visit their elderly parents in an environment that is familiar and comfortable for them, allowing seniors to host and connect with the younger generation consistently. With the assistance of an in-home caregiver who can moderate conversation or make introductions, visits can become a lot less stressful or draining on the adult and visiting family members, alike. Caregivers can also be helpful in allowing the senior to prepare for hosting in advance by having a conversation about the upcoming visit, or preparing snacks, drinks, or gifts to have on hand.
Often, communities offer vibrant and active senior centers, volunteer opportunities, and other senior groups that provide opportunities for adults to expand their social circle by participating in various events and activities.
Living at home with a hired caregiver affords seniors the opportunity for individualized care and constant companionship. Community Home Healthcare vets its staff and provides intensive quality training to ensure the caregivers working with your loved one are qualified to tend to their physical needs and are sensitive to their emotional well-being, as well. In-home caregivers are eager to provide stimulating activities and conversation, as well as accompany seniors to appointments or on errands. Having a specially trained companion who is committed to caring for your loved one while respecting your family’s values and dynamics affords both the patient and their family safety, comfort, and peace of mind.
4. Holistic Care
An older adult living independently often requires assistance and supervision for personal and health-related matters. With a highly qualified caregiver, grooming, toileting, and other personal care needs are attended to with utmost sensitivity to your loved one’s dignity. Caregivers can also be helpful in overseeing dietary considerations at mealtime, encouraging daily exercises, or giving reminders to take medications.
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are enormously expensive. In addition, it’s important to consider the fact that by the time it comes to making a decision about long-term living arrangements, many seniors have almost paid off their home mortgages or already paid them off completely. Therefore, in addition to the comfort and familiarity that staying at home offers, it also becomes even more attractive from a financial planning standpoint. With Medicare coverage, seniors can receive part-time home care assistance by staying at home. Medicare pays for part-time, in-home skilled nursing care and home health aide services, provided they are ordered by a physician and the patient meets Medicare criteria for being homebound. Even without Medicare help, in-home care is usually more affordable than assisted living or nursing homes. At Community Home Health, our staff is eager to guide you in understanding your benefits eligibility and planning a caregiver arrangement that best fits your lifestyle.
Family members caring for the elderly should keep in mind that home caregiving services relieve many of the stresses associated with eldercare responsibilities. Caregivers offer valued assistance with meal preparation, grocery shopping, and various other daily household tasks, while affording the patient a sense of safety, companionship, and the comfort of remaining autonomous in a familiar environment. Feel free to peruse our variety of additional caregiver resources throughout our website, and explore relevant topics such as medical assistance, personal care, and senior companionship.
Reach out to us today to learn more about our team of caring and experienced personal caregivers, registered nurses, and home health aides who expertly serve families just like yours.
We’re here for you and happy to assist your family. Give us a call at (845) 425-6555 with any questions.