When thinking about the options for extended care for seniors, aging at home might not, at first, seem like the most practical choice. But don’t be hasty: According to a recent AARP report, over 90 percent of seniors would prefer to stay where they are as long as they can rather than move to an assisted living facility or nursing home. It’s not just about having a preference. For seniors over 65, aging in place has a ton of benefits that go beyond the basic perks of not having to be uprooted later in life. For seniors who aren’t keen on moving into a new environment, staying at home can be a great option, especially with the help of a good In-Home Senior Care service at their disposal. Even for seniors who are getting to an age where more help is required with day to day tasks, staying at home can foster a sense of independence and keep aging adults close to reliable care centers and family doctors. If you’re torn about what to do for the senior in your life, here are a few reasons you should seriously consider letting them age in place.
If your senior has lived in the same area for a long time or even just a few years, they’ve created a community around them. Uprooting a senior from their living environment doesn’t just mean packing up a few bags and moving them to a new location. It means removing them from any friendships they’ve created or community projects they’ve been involved with. It means separating them from services they’ve come to rely on and medical providers they know and trust. Even if an aging adult is getting to a point where they need more help with routine activities, it’s still important not to discount how much a solid community gives to seniors as they age. Moving requires a lot of resocializing that could confuse or stress out your parent and end up having a detrimental effect on their mental health. If your parent can stay in one place and receive more in-home care, or even be driven to doctor’s appointments by a family member, they can have the benefit of keeping their community close as they age.
As we get older, knowing exactly where things are becomes more important. It’s not just about remembering where you left your car keys. It’s about having a broader sense of familiarity with your home environment and your community store. A major source of stress for many seniors who have to move later in life is finding ways to get basic commodities by seeking out accessible grocery stores and medical practices. If you already have a habit of going to a certain store or taking a certain walk each day, it can be difficult to have to disrupt that pattern even for a few days, not to mention an extended period of time. That’s why keeping seniors in one place as they age has been shown to have considerable mental health benefits over time.
No one likes to feel like a bother or a burden. When it comes to seniors who are faced with the choice between living at home with more specialized care or moving in with family members, it’s not as easy as you’d think. While the constant support and warmth of a family can provide seniors with a sense of belonging and comfort later in life, it can also feel like a disruption from regular routines and habits. Rather than give up their independence to live under someone else’s roof, many seniors might prefer to stay put, especially if their homes have been outfitted with special accessibility gear such as ramps or elevators.
Many nursing homes and private care facilities are well-equipped to deal with a wide range of health issues and special needs. However, many of these institutions are packed to the brim and unable to give the kind of specialized care that your senior might need and expect. For health concerns or conditions that are ongoing, the healthier option is to stick with a family doctor that knows your senior and has been treating them for a while. When accessibility gets tricky, you can still find ways to get your parent to the doctor and back without too much of a struggle. Many seniors even take the extra step of equipping their home with extra security features to instantly alert family in the case of a slip and fall or a medical emergency.