Being able to age in the comfort of home is the goal for many individuals. According to AARP, “90% of older adults nationwide want to remain in their homes for as long as possible.”
At a certain point, elderly adults need support as their physical and cognitive abilities decline. Many services are available to assist. One of the first to call upon is personal care, a non-medical service—where care professionals provide assistance with tasks around the house such as bathing, showering, dressing, and toileting, ambulation assistance and transferring, companionship, and much more.
Aging in place has become a popular alternative to long term care facilities for the following reasons:
- Aging in place tends to improve quality of life as it avoids the emotional toll of leaving home for a facility.
- It is empowering and allows seniors to maintain their independence.
- It provides a sense of comfort, security, and familiarity.
- It reduces the risk of exposure to disease.
However, aging in place does come with risks. It requires thinking ahead in order to prevent avoidable trips to the hospital. Below are some tips on how to age in place safely.
Unlike aging at an assisted living or nursing facility where some care services are offered through insurance or private payment, aging at place requires planning to ensure help is available and affordable.
Start the process by seeking advice and guidance from a primary care physician. They can help identify the level of care needed and set expectations for the entire family, especially if the individual aging in place has an illness or disease.
Seek Out Support
Aging individuals can have a wide variety of needs—it could be that grocery shopping and laundry are becoming more difficult or that bathing would feel safer “with a hand.” Whatever the need may be, seeking out support should be a top priority. Engaging in personal care service is a great first step toward peace of mind.
For instance, Constellation’s compassionate caregivers are able to provide support for the following personal care services under the supervision of a licensed nurse:
- Live-in and hourly services
- Personal care, including bathing, showering, dressing, and toileting
- Ambulation assistance and transferring
- Light housekeeping and laundry
- Medication reminders
- Transportation for appointments and errands
- Grocery shopping and meal preparation
- Assistance with an exercise regimen
- Appointment and calendar management
- Support and respite for family caregivers
- Pet care
- Hospital discharge assistance
Constellation’s personal care team delivers highly skilled non-medical care and the pricelessness of peace of mind that a loved one has the coordinated support of a well-established home care agency.
However, home is personal. Aging is personal. It can be challenging to ask for help and invite someone into a personal space. Being able to accept help from a loved one or service can improve the experience. A successful relationship with a care service requires understanding and trust from both parties. Heather McGhie summarizes how Constellation’s care staff ensures those under their care feel comfortable.
“It’s wonderful to watch the relationship between our caregivers and clients grow. They become part of the family.” Heather McGhie Director of Private Duty & Personal Care
More Ways to Stay Safe at Home
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Every second of every day, an older adult (age 65+) suffers a fall in the U.S.—making falls the leading cause of injury and injury death in this age group.”
Mobility issues contribute heavily to the inability to age in place. Identifying mobility hazards early on in the process and working to improve balance and coordination skills can reduce the chances of trips and falls.
As part of Constellation’s Complete Care at Home services, personal care aides often work with other departments within the company—like home health and hospice teams—to customize the care and ensure the best outcomes..
If you or your loved one are interested in learning more about Constellation and the other services we provide, go here. More information regarding the personal care services at Constellation can be found here.
Constellation is a family-owned, family-centered organization serving the Northeast. We have remained true to our commitment to providing the best patient experience and the highest quality outcomes. We believe this is accomplished by ensuring that everyone we connect with feels valued, trusted, and heard. Learn more about our approach to home health care and contact us today.