But I Don’t Want to Go…….

April 13, 2017

Ask an elder where they would like to live out their lives and the clear majority will say, “right here in my own home”. It is easy to guess why. Home is familiar, it is where memories have been made, and moving usually means a loss of independence.

But is it better for an elder to “age in place”?  It can be if circumstances are right. It may be less expensive to stay home and have needed services come to the elder rather move to a long-term care facility. Your elder may feel more comfortable knowing the neighborhood and how to safely get around the house. He or she can maintain some autonomy, feel less dependent on others. There may be family nearby or close neighbors and friends providing lots of social interaction as well as a good transportation system making getting out of the house convenient and safe.

What can be done to make it possible to keep an elder at home?

  • The most important first step in making sure the home is safe, tripping hazards removed, grab bars in bathroom, non-slip bathmats, and adequate lighting are a few of the issues to be addressed.
  • There are so many different technologies out now that will help your elder, from automatic door looks to systems that will alert 911 if he/she falls. More are being developed every day. Check out technologies that might provide the best assistance. When homes are prepared for aging fewer injuring occur making health care costs lower.
  • Watch for social isolation. Are there family or friends available to make regular visits? Isolation can lead to depression, which can lead to increased health problems and possible death.
  • Make sure there is a transportation system in place for visits to stores, restaurants, senior centers, doctor, etc.
  • Find any community supports that are available for elders.

It truly takes a village. Independence is a wonderful thing but the reality is that we need family, community resources and services to allow for successful aging at home.

 

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