A recent study from AARP found that 77% of adults 50-years old and older prefer to age in place. Multiple studies advertise the benefits of aging in place, such as the comfort of home, family, pets, social engagement in the community, cost-effectiveness, and the ability to maintain dignity and independence.
Fortunately, experienced in-home caregivers are available to optimize the benefits of aging in place. We’re trained to serve clients with a wide range of physical and mental abilities, perfectly supporting the age in place process.
Here are five of the most powerful reasons aging in place is beneficial.
1. It Fosters Independence and Empowerment
First and foremost, remaining at home honors the wishes of the individual. For an adult to say, “I want to stay in my own home,” and then have the family decide otherwise can create stress, anger, sadness, and grief for an adult.
Caregivers provide companionship and support with daily tasks that become challenging as we age, such as driving, meal preparation, running errands, light housekeeping, and personal care. In-home care can provide peace of mind – and a break – for family caregivers. Brining caregivers into the home as needed, seniors are able to maintain independence and a sense of empowerment. This can be a
Wonderful thing for aging adults.
2. Adults Remain Socially Engaged in Their Communities
According to a 2020 research study, “The prevalence of severe loneliness among older adults living in skilled nursing facilities is at least double that of community-dwelling populations.” Of those who feel lonely, 25% reported moderate loneliness, while 75% experienced extreme feelings of loneliness and isolation. This is the direct opposite for those who can age in place in their own homes and communities.
In addition to having regular access to their existing social networks, religious/spiritual communities, clubs, or organizations, those who age in place maintain access to:
- Community events and activities
- Favorite restaurants and hang-out spots
- Vibrant senior and/or community center calendars
- A wide range of movement and exercise class or group opportunities
- Day trips and outings of their choosing, driven and accompanied by compassionate and engaged caregivers
Aging in place with qualified home care aides offers different forms of social stimulation than any nursing home or assisted living facility can provide.
3. It Is Exponentially More Affordable
Quality of care trumps the cost of care every time. However, clients enjoy the best of both worlds with home care services. The cost of full-time home care (40 to 45 hours per week) is less than half the cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home or a private room in an assisted living community.
Most adults 65 or older have homes that are paid off or close to paid off, allowing for a range of creative options to help fund their age-in-place goals. Other options for paying for in-home care include:
- VA benefits
- Family contributions
- Cashing out of retirement and investment accounts
- Selling unused assets such as investment properties or collectibles
Before committing, take advantage of the free home assessments offered by local home care agencies. Their case managers can provide a wealth of information about paying for home care. It’s also wise to schedule a meeting with a financial advisor to provide personal recommendations.
4. It Slows the Progression of Memory Loss
Age-related memory loss and dementia have one core thing in common: they affect short-term memory loss far more than long-term memory loss. As a result, the process of removing a person from their home and introducing them to new environments and social settings means stripping them of foundational long-term memory stimuli. This results in confusion and stress.
In a recently published study, Bryan James, an epidemiologist at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago, followed 1100 seniors without dementia over 12 years. The rate of cognitive decline was 70 percent less in people with frequent social contact than those with low social activity.
There is no question that homecare increases social engagement and human-to-human connection. Bringing experienced memory care professionals into the home means loved ones remain anchored in the familiar. At the same time, professional caregivers keep loved ones safe and secure.
5. Comfort Care at Its Finest
Moving into a senior living community means saying goodbye to almost everything a person’s known and loved. While assisted living communities allow a few pieces of select furniture, nursing homes are exceptionally limited in what they allow residents to bring with them. This is traumatic for seniors, especially those who never wanted to leave home in the first place.
Seniors are far more comfortable when surrounded by:
- Familiar sights, sounds, and smells
- Their favorite mattress, couch, chair, etc.
- The landscape or garden they’ve tended to over the years
- Art, photos, and furnishings of their choosing
- Their pets
It’s also important to highlight the importance of privacy and dignity as it applies to home care vs. nursing home facilities. There is no comparing personal/hygiene care at home via a familiar caregiver with the public and industrial-style care that is the inevitable norm in a nursing home.
Benefits of Aging in Place With Home Care Services
Our aging loved ones deserve the utmost respect and care, regardless of their physical needs or struggles with memory loss. North River Home Care offers a range of home care services, including overnight and live-in care, to support healthy, high-quality aging in place.
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