Elderly Home Care Options- Choosing to Stay at Home
“Home is where the heart is” and home is often where Seniors choose to stay. After years of family and friends, it can be hard to leave a place so full of memories. In days gone by, if a frail elderly person didn’t have a family member close by to care for them, they had no choice but to move into a nursing home. Today there are more options for elderly people who want to stay at home.
A Self Assessment – Is It Time To Choose?
There are certain signs that indicate when it may be time for an elderly person to start thinking about where they want to live and what kind of help they need. Answer the following questions to see if it is time to think about where you live and what type of support you need.
1. Is your yard getting out of hand because you can no longer push the lawn mower?
2. Have you stopped driving?
3. Are you showering less frequently because you are worried about falling?
4. Have you had a fall at home?
5. Have you stopped going to your usual clubs or social groups because you find it difficult to get there?
6. Are you experiencing some memory loss?
7. Are your friends and family worried about you living on your own?
8. Have you lost some confidence in your abilities?
If you answer yes to more than one of the following questions, it may be time for you to start making decisions about where you live and what support you may require.
If you Choose to Stay at Home……..
Choosing to stay at home is not always the easiest option. Often people have concerned family and friends who try to urge them to move into a residential facility.
It is wise to first learn about all of your options to find out which is right for you. Having investigated the options – if you know that staying home is right for you, you then need to find ways of making your home more suitable for your changing requirements as you get older. First you have to identify the barriers to your independence, or rather look seriously at the risks to you if you stay at home. Once you have identified the risks you can find ways around them.
Some examples of Risks to the Elderly at home:
Injury – from falls in the shower or around the house
Poor nutrition – if cooking becomes difficult or if you can no longer read food expiration labels
Social isolation – if you are no longer confident or able to maintain your social networks
Serious injury or death – if you are unable to get up or call for help after a fall
Poor hygiene – If you are no longer able to shower yourself safely
Poor living conditions – If you find it difficult to keep up with housecleaning duties.
Luckily these are all risks that can be safely managed in your own home with a bit of help and forward thinking.
A simple 4-step process to follow to help reduce the risks of living at home:
1. Look for Equipment that can make your day to day living easier and safe. For example, getting a personal alarm that you wear all the time will ensure you always will be in touch with emergency help if you need it. Also simple walking aids and a shower chair can enable you to be safe and maintain your independence.
2. Make changes to your environment to make it safer for you. You may want to secure or move your rugs if they are a tripping hazard. Perhaps you need a shower installed if you struggle to get into the bath. You may even want to put an extra grab rail on the stairs.
3. Investigate what support is available to you. Ask your family, friends and neighbors if they can help out. For example; maybe your neighbor can pick up your mail, your friends can drive you to the social functions and your kids can help you with shopping and errands. You should also investigate what help is available from community care services – you might be surprised what you are entitled to.
4. Outsource whatever risks can’t be met under the first three steps. Perhaps you need to hire someone to mow your lawn, or assist you with domestic cleaning, or help you with personal care. Sometimes arranging private home care can help take the pressure off family relationships and keep you in control of your life.
If you follow these steps you should be able to ensure that you can keep living at home. It’s your life and your choice.