According to a survey conducted by AARP in 2018, 3 out of every 4 people who are aged 50 or older want to remain in their homes as they get older. If your older family member is one of those people, there are many things you can do to help make their wishes a reality.
Below are some steps to consider for helping your aging relative to remain in their home well into old age and possibly for life.
One thing that may be easy to overlook when considering how to allow an older adult to stay in their home is that they will sometimes need to get out. However, if the senior reaches a point where they cannot drive, getting out of the house from time to time may be difficult or even impossible.
To age in place, it’s necessary for your aging relative to have transportation available so that they can continue to do their grocery shopping, go to their place of worship, get to appointments, and run other errands. You may be able to call on friends and family members to provide rides when the older adult needs them, or you may have to schedule the senior’s trips out of the house for times when you are available to drive them.
Ensure Meals are Available
Nutrition is an important part of staying healthy. The older adult will need easy access to nutritious food and be able to prepare meals for themselves. If the senior cannot cook their own meals, someone will need to do it for them. Family caregivers may need to stop by daily to make certain the senior is eating. Or, you could spend a few days out of the month cooking meals to freeze and warm up later.
Make Changes to the Home
Most homes need at least minor changes to make them easier and safer places for older adults to live. For example, if the home has two or more stories, you may need to install a lift chair in stairwells if the senior is unable to climb stairs. Another change that may be necessary is installing grab bars in the bathroom and handrails in hallways. In addition to changes to the home, it might also be necessary to help the older adult keep up with housework, such as cleaning and doing laundry.
Involve Home Care
It can be difficult for family caregivers to keep up with the many tasks involved in helping a senior to continue aging at home. However, by hiring home care, you can ensure that your loved one has the help they need. These caregivers can drive the senior to the places they need to go, including the grocery store and medical appointments. Caregivers can also prepare meals and offer light housecleaning, such as vacuuming, dusting, doing dishes, and helping with laundry.