According to recent polls, most Americans aged 65-and-over want to continue aging in place for as long as possible- even well into their 70s and 80s. Unfortunately for many, at some point declining health will place them at risk for remaining at home. For various reasons, such as privacy and pride, most seniors don’t like discussing their personal business with others, including their own children.
If you have an aging in place elderly parent, covertly monitoring their health for signs of change is possible when you follow these steps.
Benefits of Aging in Place
Let’s face it, most older Americans don’t want to end up finishing out their lives in a nursing home, even an assisted-living facility. But the fact is most will eventually be forced to spend time in a long-term facility. Until that day arrives, studies have found that living on their own benefits a senior in these ways:
Freedom and independence. Seniors tend to exercise more, eat healthier and stay more active when they’re living in their own home.
Comfort. No matter one’s age, there’s no place quite like home.
Familiarity. If your parent has lived in the same area for years, they probably have a good support network of friends and neighbors nearby. And, they are also very familiar with the local stores, transportation routes and other services.
Financial. The average nursing home costs up to $5,000 per month. Staying at home allows a senior to spend their retirement nest egg on more rewarding pursuits, like taking a vacation to an exotic destination they’ve always dreamed about.
Now that you’ve seen the advantages to your mom or dad for continuing to age in place, it’s time to make sure it’s still safe for them to do so.
Are Mom and Dad Still O.K.?
As your parent’s “undercover caregiver”, watch for these signs while in their home or otherwise around them:
Personal hygiene. Is your parent’s appearance being kept up, including their clothes, hair and overall hygiene? Do they have an unusual body odor that wasn’t there before that could indicate incontinence or bathing difficulties?
Meals and nutrition. Are they maintaining a healthy body weight, and is there plenty of nutritious food in the home?
Mobility. Are they able to get around like they used to, or is mobility a problem?
Housekeeping and yardwork. Is mom’s prized garden still being tended to? Is dad keeping the yard up? Does the inside of their home look tidy and neat like before? Are there stacks of unwashed dishes piling up in the sink?
Medications. Does it look like mom or dad are taking their pills as prescribed, or are there empty or expired medicine bottles laying around?
Finances. When you’re at their home, do you see stacks of unopened bills on the table with “past due” notices on the outside? Are normal home repairs, like broken appliances, being neglected?
Transportation. Can your loved one still drive safely? Are there suspicious dents and scratches on their car that might indicate it’s time to turn over the keys?
Technology. Is your parent willing to embrace newer technologies that will help them continue living at home?
Socialization. Is your loved one still getting together with friends and participating in social activities they’ve enjoyed for years?
Mental acuity. Does your mom or dad show any signs of dementia, like being confused, forgetful, misplacing important items, or getting lost frequently?
Outside assistance. Is your parent receptive to accepting some outside assistance from you or a professional in-home caregiver to continue aging in place?
An Extended Family in Your Loved One’s Home
Monitoring your aging in place parent’s quality of life can be hard when you have your own household to run or live far away. When an extended family serving in the home will help restore your peace-of-mind, call First In Care. We are a fully licensed and insured home care agency in the Bradenton area. Our highly trained and carefully screened caregivers can provide your senior with the compassionate care that’s needed so they can continue aging comfortably in place right where they want to be.
While in the home, our experienced aides can perform duties including light housework, personal hygiene, meals, medication reminders, transportation and companionship. And, we always encourage families to personalize a budget-friendly caregiving package that best serves the needs of their loved one. To learn more about First In Care, or to schedule a FREE, in-home assessment for a senior in Manatee County, FL, today, please visit: www.firstincare.com now!