Aging In Place: Benefits of Staying Home

The ability to live alone is a way for older Americans to maintain their independence and identity, and it doesn’t necessarily mean being lonesome. Due to medical advancements and healthier lifestyles, people are living longer, healthier lives, which means they can stay in the workplace longer and save more money, making it an option to stay at home rather than move in with their children, or go in to a facility.

In fact, the percentage of older adults living with their children has dropped from 35% in the 1950s, to a relatively steady 12% since the 1980s, according to the Huffington Post. So why do more and more older Americans want to age in place? What is the allure of staying at home?

What makes aging in place desirable 

  • Familiarity: For older adults, being familiar with their home and surroundings is more than a nice feeling, it means safety. Knowing where things are and having a routine in their home is important for safe aging, especially if they are diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's.
  • Comfort: There is a reason people get homesick, it's because there is no place like home. Being at home is going to be the most comfortable option that a senior can have. They have their own surroundings and belongings, and will feel the most at ease there.
  • Independence: Being able to remain at home to age means that seniors will have an opportunity to remain more independent. They will be able to continue doing many of the things that have been a part of their lives, and that they enjoy. They also have the ability to maintain relationships with friends and family who live around them, and who they want to visit with.
  • Emotional Well-Being: Our location and the place we live can impact how we feel mentally. When older adults age in place by receiving help at home, they are likely to have a better outlook and feel happier and healthier than if they were confined in a facility.
  • Affordability: With Assisted Living Facilities averaging a monthly rate of $3600, and Nursing Homes an average rate of between $220-$250 daily, depending on the privacy of the room, long term care can have  major financial impact on an individual and a family. In-Home care is generally the most affordably option for long term care, with Homemaker/Companion services and Home Health Aid services having an hourly average of $20 per day (Refer to Genworth Survey for specific statewide costs).

Avoiding burden on a family caregiver

While all of these factors contribute to the desire for seniors to age in place, it is also important to remember that it might not be safe or healthy for some older adults to live completely on their own. Some might need assistance with daily activities, or just regular social interaction that they can't achieve on their own. When this is the case, it is important to get a care provider into the home so that they can age in place with reassurance and safety.

Often times, a family member will take on the role of caregiver for an aging parent that wants to stay home. However, being a family caregiver with no assistance from a professional could have serious impacts on personal lives and careers.

Being the sole caregiver for an aging parent can impact both work time and leisure time, having consequences on personal well-being, income, and relationships. In fact, 60% of family caregivers said being the sole caregiver had negative effects on their jobs, and 33% said they spent more than 30 hours a week on caregiving, according to the Genworth Survey.

Professional In-Home Care options

Bringing a professional care provider into the home allows the elderly loved one to reap all the benefits of aging in place, while giving family members the flexibility to have time for their personal and professional lives. With a professional care provider in the equation, family members can take a step back from the physical and emotional pressure, and define new roles in the caregiving process that fit with their lives and schedules.

There are many options for in-home care providers, so that you can find the best fit for you and your family. In-home care providers can range from Companion to Registered Nurse, and can provide a variety of services. To view rates, the Genworth Survey provides median cost of different levels of caregivers by state.

  • Homemakers & Companions:  Provide help with household tasks that cannot be managed alone. Homemaker services includes “hands-off”care such as cooking, cleaning and running errands.
  • Home Health Aides & Certified Nursing Assistants: Home Health Aides offer services to people who need more extensive care. It is “hands-on” personal care, such as assistance with bathing and dressing, but not medical care.
  • Licensed Practical Nurses & Registered Nurses: People who require medical care, such as wound care/bandage changes, enemas, catheterization and IV flush, require either Licensed Practical Nurses or Registered Nurses. RNs are also known for their critical thinking, leadership, and ability to teach patients about their care.

Care providers can perform hourly, live-in, or respite (temporary) care, depending on the needs of you and your family. Many care providers have specialized training to assist loved ones who may need dementia care or care specific to other chronic diseases like Parkinson's or ALS.  At American In-Home Care, all of the care providers we refer are highly qualified and credentialed, and have also been screened, bonded and insured. Contact us today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation to assess your in-home needs.