For those families with aging loved ones who have remained in their current residence for 10 years or more, you are familiar with the on-going concerns of how to keep them in their comfortable surroundings. A recent AARP study indicates over 90 percent of seniors over age 65 prefer to remain in their homes rather than moving to an over 50 community or assisted living facility. For them, aging at home is always their desired option but in some instances, it’s just not possible for medical or safety reasons.
There are multiple care options available today, but both the aging resident and the family are not sure of which option to choose in order to balance the desire to stay in place and the need to have adequate healthcare and social interaction. Here are a few of the benefits of aging in place and considerations to give you guidance on which direction to pursue.
Top 5 Reasons to Age in Place
1. Aging in Place Costs Less
Alternate housing and care options such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities are expensive. Most aging residents have substantial equity in their home and have only to maintain the home without the added mortgage payment. The cost differential between remaining in their home and paying for specialized housing and care is substantial.
While Medicare does not pay for homemaker services, four or six hours a day of service, which could include things like cleaning, meal prep, transportation to errands or activities, and other general help, would only be $120- $150 a day. Many seniors need less than forty hours a week of care; however, so costs could be significantly lower.
2. People are More Comfortable in Their Home
There’s no place like home. Familiarity breeds contentment and comfort. You get to control the temperature, adjust the bed just right, watch your TV shows, and eat when you prefer. Also, in a nursing home, there is a real chance seniors will have to deal with a roommate not of their choosing in a
semi-private situation. Aging in place offers the comfort of privacy that just isn’t available in many live-in
3. Aging in Place Strengthens Your Social Network
Aging in place allows seniors to retain their current social network and organization participation and expand upon it. It not only allows seniors to stay near current friends and perhaps family but it gives them the freedom to host events, even if they need assistance to do so.
4. Familiarity Reduces Advancement of Memory Loss
As we age, memory loss becomes a harsh reality for many. Moving to new surroundings, friends, clubs associated with a more sterile environment can exacerbate the progression of memory loss. Retaining the existing social circles and regular interactions that are part of aging in place, memory loss can be slowed. One study found that seniors with regular social activity contact saw a 70 percent reduction in cognitive decline when compared with more isolated individuals.
5. Independence and Freedoms of Staying in Place
Aging residents have worked the majority of their lives to save for retirement, believing it will lead to freedom to do what they want. Staying in their homes allows seniors to be more independent and make their own decisions on a variety of day to day activities and tasks. Even with live-in or occasional
in-home help, you’re in charge of scheduling activities. In a nursing home or assisted living situation you mostly likely need to adhere to a group schedule.
In some group living situations, there are restrictions on visitors and meal times. Aging in place allows you to maintain control over your environment as well. Remodeling, repainting, rearranging furniture, redecorating are things that might not be possible in other shared living environments.
Takeaway: Home companion care can allow aging seniors much more flexibility in retaining their current home environment.
For seniors who only need occasional help, aging in place is the best way to maintain independence and freedom. Even when some help is needed, companion care options lets you choose who will help and how they will help. This can be especially important when getting help with things like finances where it is vital to make sure that the person helping has your best interests in mind.