Multiple generations together

Aging at home is generally preferred as a more comfortable and affordable option than moving to an assisted living facility or nursing home. Seniors know where everything in their home is and how it works. Many elderly individuals have lived in that home for their entire adult life and cannot imagine living anywhere else, either driven by wariness of packing up and relocating or out of concern for leaving sentimental value behind.

Nonetheless, aging at home presents its own set of challenges. No matter how familiar the setting, an aging loved one’s ability to safely navigate and maintain any living situation changes over time. Care should be given to each of the following areas that may present new difficulties as an elderly parent or loved one’s capabilities change.


Vision is often one of the first faculties to begin to fail in older adults. Loss of vision can lead to bruises from bumping into things, tripping over items on the floor, knocking over items or insufficiently cleaning them up and several other dangerous situations.

Encourage your aging loved one to have their vision checked regularly. Reflective or colorful tape near steps, door thresholds or other raised floor elements can help avoid tripping. Gadgets such as a robotic vacuum or mop that runs at night (but not while the person might trip over it!) can be helpful in cleaning hazards off the floor. Consider replacing glassware or other breakable items with sturdier alternatives that, if knocked over, are less likely to compound matters by shattering.

Bathroom Safety

The bathroom is one of the most hazardous rooms of the home for even younger people with rapid reflexes. As strength, balance and quickness begin to fade, a wet floor or a misjudged shower ledge can become much more dangerous.

We always encourage families to install grab bars and other safety equipment in a senior’s bathroom. In many instances, these may be covered by an individual’s long-term care policy. Shower chairs reduce the risk of slipping on the wet floor. For seniors that have trouble transferring from seated to standing positions and vise versa, special seats are available to assist with getting on and off the toilet as well as into and out of the bath

Medication Management

As people age, they tend to take more medications. It can quickly become overwhelming to remember which pills need to be taken at which times and on which days. Even with many pharmacies able to blister pack medications into groups to be taken at specific times, seniors often find it challenging to remember to do so. Mixing up or skipping dosages can have some serious and even life-threatening side effects.

If pharmacy prepackaging is not available or practical, a weekly visit from a nurse can be helpful in setting up a week’s long medication regimen. Most nurse registries or homecare agencies can help arrange this type of service.

If a family or professional caregiver is not coming into the home regularly to ensure compliance with prescription medication, consider setting up automated reminders through a phone (i.e. Siri) or automated personal device (i.e. Alexa).

Errands and Transportation

Getting to and from stores, doctors’ appointments and social events is a critical part of living independently. As aging slows reflex times, dulls vision and hearing and may introduce short bouts of confusion, there inevitably becomes a time when it no longer becomes safe for older individuals to drive themselves around town. When public transportation is inconvenient or simply unavailable, transportation becomes a significant challenge to aging in place.

Many states and towns have accessible transportation available to seniors for free or for a nominal fee. Some community organizations will similarly provide door-to-door services for elderly members. One of the most frequent reasons families begin to employ a home health aide is to assist with errands, including bringing in and unpacking groceries. By hiring a homecare aide who is willing and able to use their own car to transport their client, a senior is able to maintain a social life outside of their home and schedule appointments – medical or otherwise – without worrying about how they are going to get to and from the location.


One of the undeniable advantages of communal living – in an assisted living facility or otherwise – is the presence and company of other residents. Aging at home, particularly following the passing of a spouse, can get very lonely.

It can be helpful to schedule regular activities with friends and neighbors, particularly if adult children do not live nearby. As loneliness can often lead to bad habits and hygiene, preventing loneliness by participating in social, educational or religious activities is a direct form of remaining healthy as an individual ages. If these become impractical because of transportation or mobility issues, a home health aide who can provide companion services may be a valuable option. In addition to assisting their client with getting to and from social engagements such as card games or religious services, a homecare aide can play games, carry on meaningful conversation, do puzzles, look through picture albums, go for walks, visit museums and engage their client in a wide range of other social activities.

Home Care as a Tool for Maintaining Independence

As a homecare company, it’s no surprise that we recommend in-home caregiver services to most of the families that call us. However, we recognize that home healthcare is not a cure-all, and it may not be right for every family; our willingness to recommend other solutions is what has made us South Florida’s most trusted name in home health care for over twenty-five years.

That said, one of the most important and beneficial mindset shifts that a family can help their aging loved one make is to go from seeing in-home service as a diminution of their independence to seeing it as a tool that will help them maintain their independence for as long as possible.

We all age. At some point, we are all going to need some help doing things that we used to do with ease. When the choice is viewed as between being either unsafe or limited at home or moving to an assisted living facility, on the one hand, versus getting a bit of help around the house to assist with the most challenging or unenjoyable tasks and improving one’s quality of life, on the other, many families suddenly find their aging loved ones to be more open to having some help around the house.

When exploring in-home care, you should only work with a fully licensed nurse registry or homecare agency. Doing so with ensure that any home health aide they refer is credentialed, background screened, experienced, insured and matched specifically against your loved one’s needs. The agency or registry can also help ensure backup care in the event of a change in schedules and can assist with billing and payment, including claim filing with long-term care insurance policies.

Some home care agencies will insist on a minimum number of hours in order to staff cases, which can serve as a barrier for someone who is ambivalent about receiving care at all. Because at Boca Home Care Services, we view homecare as a way of keeping seniors independent, we don’t believe in minimum hour requirements. Instead, we allow our clients and their families to dictate everything about their care, turning coverage as far up or down as they would like. If you or your loved one live in South Florida, from West Palm Beach to Aventura, from Lake Worth to Hollywood, give us a call today to discuss how we can help your aging loved one safely maintain their independent at home.