The older generations today tend to live longer than generations in the past. Today’s seniors are often healthier than seniors in previous generations, too. This means elderly persons today have more opportunities for fulfilling, happy lives. Seniors can enjoy many benefits from aging at home.
What Is Aging At Home?
In the past, there were two common options for elderly persons. Some seniors lived with their adult-aged children. Others were placed in long-term care facilities. However, more seniors today prefer to remain in their own houses or apartments.
Why Aging At Home Is The Best Choice
There are practical reasons elderly persons should remain at home whenever it is possible. Adult-aged children today often have more responsibilities than their counterparts in the past. The senior’s son or daughter may have a full-time job and children of their own. Even loving families may not understand the special needs of elderly people.
A long-term care facility should only be the last resort for elderly persons with serious health or medical issues. Unless the senior requires round the clock supervision or consistent medical care, there is no reason to place the person in a facility. Everyday life in a care facility means a senior is looked after by strangers. Seniors have virtually no independence or privacy.
Aging at home is different and better. Independence is an important example. Unless the senior has restrictions due to health issues, nearly every aspect of his daily life will be based on his own personal choices. Eating, sleeping, entertainment, and other activities will be his own decisions.
When he makes decisions for himself and his life, he feels good about himself. Aging at home means he does not feel that someone else is in charge of his life.
Familiarity is another reason seniors want to age at home. If he has lived in his house or apartment for years or decades, he does not want to leave it. When a senior lives in a familiar environment, he is happier and more secure.
Familiarity also extends to his personal possessions. Elderly persons who move into their children’s homes, or long-term care facilities, find there is much they must leave behind. Possessions that mean a lot to a senior are disposed of or put into storage. In many cases, the pets they cherish are given away.
Seniors who age at home do not have to experience these losses. From his favorite books to possessions he has collected over the years, he can keep what he has in his own home. He will not have to give up the pet that provides love and companionship.
Aging at home also provides more opportunities for an active life. If he wishes, he can continue to be a part of his community. Depending on his personal preferences, seniors can even find opportunities to volunteer or take part-time jobs.
These opportunities benefit elderly persons in many ways. He will not feel isolated at home when he can interact with other people in the community. He can gain a sense of satisfaction and personal worth when he works or volunteers. Elderly individuals who remain active in the community are happier and healthier. They have a greater sense of purpose and meaning in their lives.
Seniors can also have opportunities to explore and enjoy their personal interests. The senior may enjoy a special hobby, going to the movies, or attending cultural events in his city. He does not have to miss any of these opportunities when he ages at home. Whenever he wants to participate in an activity, he will be able to do so.
How A Senior Benefits From A Home Care Aide
While a senior can appreciate all of these advantages to aging at home, it is a wise decision to hire a home care aide. Even healthy seniors benefit in many ways when they have assistance from non-medical aides.
Non-medical home care aides do not provide skilled nursing services, but they provide many other services that are helpful to elderly persons. One example is assistance with ADL, or activities of daily living. Elderly persons who live at home may need help with certain tasks. Some examples include assistance with bathing, dressing, personal grooming, or using the toilet. An elderly person may need help washing or brushing his hair, or choosing clothing that is appropriate for the weather.
An aide can assist with other activities in a senior’s daily life. He may need assistance with shopping, banking or other errands, or light housekeeping. He may need someone to help him feed his pet or walk his dog. These are a few examples of how a senior’s daily life can improve when he has a home care aide. He does not have to hire someone, try to do it all himself, or allow these activities to remain undone.
Home care aides look after the senior’s health. Seniors occasionally forget to take prescription medication or eat meals at mealtimes. Aides remind seniors to take medications on time and can prepare nutritious meals for the seniors, too. Aides make sure seniors have appropriate exercise to stay in good health. Aides also make sure medications, diet and exercise are compatible with the doctor’s instructions.
Home care aides usually record a senior’s activities and progress. This helps supervising nurses or physicians. They will know if the senior is doing well, or if changes need to be made. Depending on the situation, aides may share this information with the senior’s family member. You will know how your loved one is doing, even if you do not live nearby.
Family members are often concerned about an elderly person’s safety and security. Seniors who live at home do not need to be at risk of accidents or other dangers. There are steps aides can take to ensure safety and security.
Doors and windows will be secure to eliminate the risk of a break-in. An aide can periodically check the phone to be sure seniors can make and take phone calls. The senior’s home will be clean and tidy so he stays healthy. From keeping the home free of debris to making sure there are no loose rugs on the floor, elderly persons will not be at risk of fire or slip and fall accidents. His health, safety, and security will be priorities whether the aide is present or off-duty.
Home care aides help seniors stay active. In the home, this can mean playing games to keep his mind alert and sharp, assisting the senior with exercise routines so his body is limber and coordinated, playing a musical instrument while the senior sings, and many more enjoyable examples.
With an aide, an elderly person can stay active in the community. Not only is it easier and safer to participate in the community with an aide, it is more fun. An elderly person will not worry about having an accident, not arriving on time, or finding his way home. His aide will take care of these details so he can focus on having a good time. Every excursion will be more fun when he can share it with his home care aide.
Transportation and safety are not the only reasons seniors need home care aides. Both outside the home and in the home, elderly individuals benefit greatly from companionship. While outings are more enjoyable when shared with a special friend, companionship at home is also essential for a senior’s health.
An elderly person who lives at home can have serious risks from isolation and loneliness. It can be harmful to his state of mind, his mental health, and even his physical health. Seniors who experience isolation and loneliness on a regular basis have a higher risk of depression and medical issues.
With a home care aide, a senior never needs to experience isolation and loneliness. He will feel good about himself and know he counts as a person when he knows someone cares about him. He will have someone to talk to about his concerns and wishes, and he can share his lifetime of memories with his aide.
Companionship can decrease his worries, and also help him realize he is a valuable person. The joys, sorrows, and accomplishments he has experienced throughout the years can be shared with his aide. He never needs to feel alone, or feel that his life has not mattered. Companionship is an easy way to ensure his peace of mind and his mental health.
Home care aides can also provide encouragement to seniors who are unmotivated or sedentary. While a senior will not be forced to do anything he does not want to do, encouragement can make a difference. If he has developed the habit of spending the entire day watching television, or sees no reason to get out of bed in the mornings, his aide can encourage him to find activities he will truly enjoy.
Whether the senior takes up a new hobby or enrolls in a class at a senior center, he will be healthier and happier when his daily life is productive. As a sedentary lifestyle is harmful to an elderly person, he will benefit from this encouragement. He can do much more with his older years than watch t.v.
Home Care Aides For Seniors: Choices, Decisions, And Opportunities
It should not be surprising that many seniors do not want to leave their homes. They do not want to give up their familiar surroundings and personal possessions, and they do not want to give up their independence and freedoms. Elderly persons who have home care aides do not have to give up anything that matters to them. Aging is not a reason to leave home.
Individuals who have been active and independent throughout their lives are not well-suited to the alternatives. They do not want the decisions for their daily lives to be made by someone else, nor to live by someone else’s rules. From the few possessions they can keep to when they must go to bed, elderly persons do not like these restrictions. Many seniors who were the adults in their own households can also experience problems when they live with their adult-aged children.
Maintaining independence is only one reason aging at home is the best choice, but it is a very important reason. Growing older should not mean a person is no longer in charge of his life. When he ages at home, he will continue to be independent, and continue to make his own decisions.
All of these points are extremely important when you are considering care for your elderly loved one. The priorities should be his health, safety, security, and happiness. A home care aide can ensure these priorities in your loved one’s everyday life.
Your parents deserve the best as they grow older. Their aging years do not have to consist of unnecessary restrictions, loss, or loneliness. Regardless of your parent’s age, condition, or personal preferences, a home care aide can make his life healthy, happy, and meaningful.
You can have peace of mind knowing your parent is cared for by a trained, experienced aide. Even if you live in a different city or region, your worries can be over. Your loved one will not be overseen by strangers in a restrictive facility, nor will he face the risks of isolation and loneliness at home.
Seniors today have more opportunities than elderly persons had in the past. Advances in the medical field and healthier lifestyles mean more seniors are living longer and enjoying better health in their older years. Along with these improvements come opportunities for personal satisfaction, productivity, and meaningful lives. Seniors can have full lives, regardless of their age.
In most cases, seniors do not have to give up these opportunities. They can live in their own homes, and have assistance from home health aides. When you help your loved one to hire a home care aide, it is a decision he will surely appreciate. You can have peace of mind and confidence, knowing your parent is healthy, happy, and safe.