Older adults want to stay in their homes as they age. Who can blame them? After working hard to build a comfortable life, who would want to give that up in the years when they finally have time to enjoy it?
“Nearly 9 in 10 Americans (88%) between 50 and 80 years of age said it’s important to remain in their homes as they grow older” — University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging via U.S. News and World Report
Aging in place and living at home has been a priority for seniors for a very long time. It took on emphasized importance during and following the Covid-19 pandemic, as seniors strove to live in a place where they could maintain more autonomy over their ability to come or go (or to choose not to) and maintain visitation and relationships with friends and family.
Unfortunately, the flip side of this desire is that many seniors and their families are not prepared and don’t know quite how to make the arrangement work. As they age, seniors tend to have increased needs for assistance and home modification. These changes may come on gradually or quickly if an illness or injury occur. Being prepared with a plan makes it so that seniors can stay in their homes and live out their wishes, despite the changes that may come to them.
Part of that plan should be researching and accessing the services that make good, safe living at home possible.
Home Care Services Make Staying Home Possible
As people age, the key to staying safely and happily in their own homes is made possible through a combination of family interaction and involvement, maintaining socialization, and accessing the support systems to help them safely perform and maintain health, hygiene, and activities of daily living.
There is a vast array of services that can make this possible for elder home dwellers. Depending on conditions, some may be covered by insurance and long-term care plans. There are private pay services available as well, many of which are more affordable, better options than paying to live in a skilled nursing or assisted living facility.
Some of the most popular and most effective services available to seniors living at home include the following:
- Certified Nursing Assistant or Home Health Aide Care
Certified Nursing Assistants and Home Health Aides provide non-medical care and assist with what are called “activities of daily living”. They help seniors cook and clean, run errands (with or without them, depending on mobility), remind them of medications, meals, and appointments, and much more. They help them with tasks like bathrooming and hygiene. They carry out non-medical tasks as outlined by skilled nursing staff or according to doctor’s orders, when appropriate. This is only a sampling of the care and attention that CNA’s and HHA’s perform to keep seniors living safely where they want to be.
- Geriatric Companion Care
Geriatric companion care may sometimes blur into the lines of what a home health aide does, but its focus tends to be more on providing socialization, companionship, and assistance upkeeping an engaged, meaningful life. Companion care is a good “bridge” service for seniors whose needs are less, but who will benefit from this level of assistance. Companions can keep a senior company at home, help them entertain company, prepare and accept visitors, or help them access and attend activities and interests that are important to them. The goal is to maintain an active social life and keep a positive attitude and good mental health through better living.
- Transportation Services
Transportation can be a major hurdle for seniors who live on their own. It can be a barrier to good healthcare and a barrier to activities and socialization that keep mood and mental health (as well as physical heatlh) in good shape. It is not always safe or reasonable for seniors to continue to drive, though.
Transportation services are available, often through quality home care companies, to make sure that that barrier does not exist. When managed through a home care agency, seniors should be able to access any special transportation needs such as wheelchair accessibility. Transportation services may be provided through CNA or HHA services or companion services, or they may be offered as an add-on or additional service.
- Private Case Management
There are case managers who work in nursing homes, hospitals, and for insurance companies. There are also case managers who work in the private sector. Their job is to help manage and oversee all the moving parts of care and safe living for their clients; in this case, elders who have a difficult time managing those parts on their own.
Case managers step in to take the overwhelming task of appointments, scheduling, organizing, attending, and overall management of the different aspects of care for their senior clients. When seniors are not able to fully perform these duties themselves, they often fall to family members, but this can create a hardship in itself. Care management is at least a part-time job, and with other obligations, work, home, and family life to live, this can be a lot for a family member to take on. It is a job that is especially difficult to manage for family members who do not live nearby to their beloved senior family members.
Hiring a private case manager to organize and oversee senior care ensures the best, most consistent care for your senior, while allowing family to be just that once again—family with an emphasis on relationships.
- Home Health Care Services
There is a vast array of services that fall under the umbrella of home health care services. These might include skilled nursing and medically skilled care, including in-home medical care. They might include in-home day or live-in care such as CNA or HHA care, or companion care. They might include private duty nursing. They might also extend into other types of skilled care, such as physical therapy.
Home health care services are best administered by a professional home health care agency. There are agencies large and small, corporate or private and personal. You may find agencies that offer one or two basic lines of service, or you may find more comprehensive agencies that offer some or all of the services that have been listed here. The services that fall under the umbrella of home care services can be essential to a safe and quality life for seniors aging in place.
Individualize Services for The Best Life and Outcome
Seniors are individuals. As individuals, seniors have difference interests, goals, and needs. This is why a range of services exists to help today’s seniors achieve their goal of good living and aging in place.
Good professional home care partners and the services they provide will make sure that aging in place is an option for seniors for as long as it is a possibility. For many this will be through the end of life. Quality home care services make meaningful good living a reality.
Private Home Care Services is a home care company based in Massachusetts. They provide home care services, including all of those listed above—and more—throughout the state of Massachusetts and beyond throughout New England. If you or a loved one is looking for help to keep a senior living well at home, contact PHCS today. We will help you put together the private home care services that you or your loved one need to achieve that goal of good living and aging in place.