Is aging at home realistic for the elderly?
The majority of seniors in the US want to age at home, an AARP survey shows. Around 90% of the interviewed audience would like to continue to live with their families in their own houses. They will be the most comfortable there, and friends and relatives can visit them often.
However, is it realistic that every senior stays at home? The house may not be safe for them, and their illness may be a limiting factor as well. It is especially tricky if a senior suffers from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. Aging in place can be an option for most older adults, under certain conditions.
To create a safe environment for the elderly, it is essential to redesign the place they live in. Falls are the leading cause of accidental deaths in older adults. Therefore, adjusting the home to the senior’s needs is a must. Despite this fact, the majority of houses are not modified according to the needs of the elderly occupants, so they cannot safely age at home.
Preventing falls should be a priority since injuries can be quite nasty and sometimes even fatal. See what the risky spots are, and focus on them first. Investigate the bathroom and check out how you can make it safer for your senior. Bathrooms are usually the riskiest part of the house, and many falls occur there. Also, assessing the kitchen should be part of the overall house assessment. There is often a lack of light in the kitchen which can affect the elderly with poor eyesight.
Senior Health Conditions as a Significant Factor of Aging at Home
All these improvements are helpful for the elderly who have poor eyesight, balance problems, lack of flexibility, etc. These problems can be a normal part of aging or medication side effects. Regardless of the reason, safety measures are an essential part of aging in place.
The problems become more severe if the older adult is sick. Alzheimer’s, stroke, cancer, and other diseases can move them away from home.
Is it safe for older adults who are ill to live alone?
What to Do When Your Older Adult Can’t Live Independently Anymore
Many seniors believe they can live on their own, without anyone by their side. This belief is not realistic, especially if they are severely sick. The US government states that over two-thirds of people who turn 65 need help to some extent. For seniors who cannot live on their own, there are several options.
First, their family can take care of them and dedicate themselves to their elderly, if the disease hasn’t progressed much. Second, different facilities can be an option, while the third choice is hiring a caregiver.
With a caregiver, elderly adults will always have professional help, and this will also enable them to continue to live in their home. This way you also have peace of mind, because they have someone by their side all the time. There is no need for a permanent movement to another facility, even if they are diagnosed with an illness.
Aging at home is realistic, even for adults over 65 years old, but certain efforts are needed. A house must be modified according to the senior’s needs. This usually involves installing grab bars, but it is much more than that. If your senior needs a hand in performing everyday tasks and you are too busy to be with them 24/7, a caregiver may help. With a caregiver, older adults can continue to live with their families and be sure they have all the support they need.
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