For many people the main concern with aging is their desire to stay home as long as possible, if not forever. There is a strong desire to remain in familiar surroundings and live on our own as long as we can. For some people, living in a residential facility is not even in the cards due to the high cost. So how can you age well at home? What kind of help might you need? What services are recommended?
Some of the main ways to keep yourself and/your loved ones at home for as long as possible include:
- Staying on top of health concerns. If you or your loved one has any type of health concern, make sure that it is being cared for properly. Make sure that regular doctor’s appointments are kept, medications are stocked regularly and taken as directed. Avoid things that may exacerbate the health condition. Keeping health concerns under control is key to aging well at home.
- Maintain a healthy exercise routine. Keeping your body in shape is another very important part of the puzzle if you wish to age well at home. The healthier and stronger a person’s body is, the better they can keep up with daily living activities and avoid risk of injury.
- Put in place a great support system. Aging well at home grows harder and harder as a person ages, especially if they are trying to do so without any outside support. Having people and programs in place to help with the things that might be a struggle or that you cannot do anymore makes all the difference when it comes to aging well in your own home. If a person cannot cut the grass anymore, having a neighbor or relative do it for you is a great help. If they cannot drive anymore, having a friend, relative, or aide come out a few times a week to take them to run errands, get to appointments, or visit friends and family is an amazing support system.
What should a support system consist of?
A good support system will be focused on the individual, evolving needs of the individual in need of support. Theses needs can and will vary with time. A person in their 60s will need less help than that same person will need in their 80s or 90s. It is important to sit down and discuss the current needs of the person with them and then reconvene and reevaluate at regular intervals. When deciding on services that may be needed and whether to trust family/friends vs involving a professional service the discussion should revolve around doctor’s concerns and recommendations as well as what the individual feels would work best for them.
Here is a list of services that may be needed to help an individual or a couple live their best lives in their own homes:
- Transportation: To help them get to and fro safely.
- Meal Preparation or Drop-Off: To make sure that they are getting the right amount of nutrition daily and to make sure that any special diets are being adhered to.
- Medication Delivery: To make sure that medications are always resupplied on time.
- Housekeeping Services: To help keep up with laundry, cleaning, and making sure the home is kept up so that the person is comfortable, can find everything they need, and not living at risk of injury from clutter or from trying to clean things themselves.
- Companionship: One of the biggest issues that many senior face when choosing to remain at home is loneliness. If friends and family are not nearby or may not be able to visit regularly with them they can feel cut off and depression can set in. There are people who volunteer or can be hired to come and just visit with them, make sure they are doing well, listen to stories about life and just keep that social interaction coming.
A lot of these services, and more, can be provided through a single company like ABloom Home Care. Our CNAs are qualified for all of these things. Making sure that you or your loved one can age well at home does not necessarily mean that different people have to come by all the time. It can all be taken care of with a single home care company, though you should interview different companies to find the right fit for yourself or your loved one.
For more information, check out this website from the National Institute on Aging: