There’s No Place like Home

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In Home Senior Care Services

As they age, our parents may develop trouble doing everyday chores like shopping, cooking, and taking care of their home or themselves. When activities of daily living become too difficult for your loved one to manage, many believe that a facility is the first, best choice. Sending your elderly parent to a nursing home is not the only option. Luckily, there are choices such as adult day care or group homes. Another solution is allowing your parent to remain in their family home with assistance. After all, it’s where they want to be. It is where they are most comfortable, surrounded by memories and loved ones.

There are benefits for seniors to “age in place.”  Independence is an important part of their self-worth and dignity.  They want to remain in control of their lives and maintain the freedom to come and go as they please. Next, it may be easier to maintain interpersonal relationships while at home. It is certainly much easier and more comfortable to visit your elderly parent at their home rather than a facility with restricted visiting hours.  This may have been your family home and holds memories for you as well. There is a sense of community surrounded by their friends and neighbors. If safety is an issue, there are modifications that can be made to any home to increase safety.  Also, seniors are safer in a familiar environment. Finally, cost of in home senior care is considerably less than facility care. Companion aides are scheduled only when the senior needs it and hours of care are flexible.

Home modifications can be as simple as adding grab bars to the bathrooms or changing to a low or no-threshold entrance to the home to reduce falls.  A master bedroom and bath on the first floor rather than the upper level is also a smart change. Often a dining room or under-used study can be converted to a bedroom.  Changing out door knobs for lever-style door handles and adding bright lighting in all areas are also low-cost alterations.

There are a variety of assistive devices that can make aging in place a comfortable, safe option.

Walkers and wheelchairs for safe ambulation are obvious, but there are others such as raised toilet seats, bed rails, grabber poles, step stool with safety bar, bedside commodes and baby monitors.

There are motion detector alarms for the floor and chairs; large print telephones, remote controls and clocks. Consider an emergency response system that can be worn like a pendant, bracelet or watch. These systems can call the family, not just 911. Automated medication dispensing systems are also available. Often, these devices are paid for by insurance.

Finally, consider companion care or personal assistant services. A reputable company can provide a certified, trained caregiver who can provide compassionate care when a loved one cannot.  Services can be scheduled from a few hours a day to 24-hours a day to live-in.  Home care may include companionship, incidental transportation, light housekeeping and wellness. Having an aide to help your parent when you can’t allows them to maintain their independence in their own home, where they really want to be.

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