The number of American seniors is expected to reach 70 million by the year 2030, according to the U.S. Census. AARP reports that as many as 90% of seniors over the age of 65 want to live in their homes for as long as they can.
We get it. Living independently has its perks! Staying in the comfort of your home with all its amenities. Maintaining your privacy. Continuing to do all the things you love to do. There is no doubt the aging-in-place movement promotes senior self-reliance. Advancements in technology, home modifications and in-home senior assistance services have this growing segment of the American population proving that they can retain some level of independence.
Technological advancements, especially related to senior devices and gadgets, are allowing elderly people to age at home. Tools, equipment, and Apps are being geared toward ensuring their safety as they continue to live on their own. Personal medical alert systems allow seniors to summon help quickly should they fall or need medical attention. Video monitoring, a trend that has been gaining popularity over the last few years as families spread out geographically, allows family members to keep an eye on their aging loved in real time.
Other systems are changing how older people age at home, including digital pill dispensers; voice-activated talking clocks that remind seniors to eat, take a short walk, or even feed the cat; and GPS devices that call for the help of a response team and alert the family to the potential health or safety issue.
The desire to age in place may not work if the home an aging loved one is living in cannot accommodate the changes that come with growing old. However, sometimes minor adjustments can enable them to live safely in their current home. This could include making simple changes, such as:
- Adding wayfinding lights throughout the house to prevent accidents
- Moving furniture around to accommodate a wheelchair, cane or walker
- Adding handrails to assist them in and out of the shower
Sometimes major renovations must occur to allow a senior to remain in their home longer and safer, including:
- Updating outdoor lighting, walkways and stairs to simplify access
- Adding a walk-in shower to help prevent stepping over the side of the bathtub every time they bathe
- Reconfiguring cabinet shelves to make things easier to reach
- Outfitting appliances with larger numbers and letters for easier visibility
An elderly loved one may be more than capable of living independently, but they may need support with certain daily activities. Professional caregivers can provide quality, dependable services to help seniors age at home, including customized companion care and personal care.
- Personal care, such as bathing, eating, dressing, toileting, grooming
- Household care, including cleaning, laundry, organization, errands
- Meal preparation, from grocery shopping to meal planning and prep
- Emotional care, offering companionship, conversation and help with recreational activities
For many aging family members, having someone to help them with weekly tasks and activities can mean the difference between living on their own and having to move into an assisted living facility.