Given a choice, most older adults would prefer to remain in their own homes. Moving to a long-term care facility can mean the loss of independence, the loss of memories attached to the home, and even the loss of a support network of family and friends.
There are a number of factors to consider when deciding whether to move into a residence or whether to remain in the comfort of your own home. Before making any sudden decisions—which often happen after experiencing a medical emergency—consider your circumstances carefully.
If your home is located conveniently next to shopping and services, you’ll have a much better chance of continuing to live independently. Living far away from grocery stores, pharmacies, and medical facilities will definitely make it more of a challenge for you as you age. You’ll also want to be able to access community services easily.
Next, you’ll want to consider how much maintenance and upkeep your house requires. Homes that have a lot of steps, a large property to maintain, or a long front drive can prove daunting for an older senior.
Then, of course, there’s the issue of money. How much does it cost to keep your house running? How much money is required to pay for all the services you need to keep your life comfortable and your house maintained?
Once you’ve considered all of these factors together, there are some steps you can take to make sure you stay in your home as long as possible. With that in mind, here are some simple fixes you can work towards that will help you adjust to life at home as an older adult.
Times have changed when it comes to setting up the house with safety and convenience in mind. While grab bars in the washroom and keeping trip hazards minimized (think taping down edges of rugs and hiding electrical cords) are still the way to go, technology has opened a whole new set of possibilities for keeping seniors independent and safe.
There are all kinds of gadgets available now that basically detect the same thing: an usual change in habits. Take, for example, motion sensors that alert family members if there’s hasn’t been any activity over a certain period of time inside your home. A quick phone call can then sort out whether or not there’s a health issue to deal with. Other devices can remind you to take pills if you forget or even turn off a stove burner that’s been left on too long.
There are devices that can monitor your sleep, the amount of activity you get each day, and keep track of changes in your blood pressure and pulse. While adding sensors to your home may initially be an expense, they can take a great deal of the worry away from both you and your family when it comes to remaining in your home.
Part of the reason a decision is made to move a senior to a residence is because family members worry about a senior becoming isolated and left without any help at all in the home. These high-tech sensors can ease fears around being alone and without assistance during a medical crisis and help prevent such emergencies from happening in the first place.
Don’t forget too, that there are many organizations that support and work with seniors to help them continue to live in the comfort of their own homes for as long as possible.
Source(s) for Today’s Article:
“Seniors stay home longer in U.S. with simple fixes,” CBC News Health web site, July 10, 2013; http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/07/10/aging-at-home-technology.html, last accessed August 21, 2013.
“Senior Housing Options,” HELPGUIDE.org web site, http://www.helpguide.org/elder/senior_housing_residential_care_types.htm, last accessed August 21, 2013.