How to Avoid a Nursing Home and Successfully Age In Place
Many senior citizens are doing the most they can to remain healthy and independent at home.. Independent living has become increasingly popular in recent years, which would explain the rise of adult children adjusting to home care living for their elders instead of placing them in nursing homes.
So many Americans over the age of 65 are discovering ways to prepare for aging in place rather than a nursing home. If you’re curious in finding alternatives for assisted living facilities, this guideline will provide ways to safely and easily care for your loved one at home as they age.
Ways to Successfully Age in Place
Keeping your loved one in your family home rather than a nursing home can keep your loved one comfortable and happy. Their health and safety when being cared for at home as an alternative to a nursing home can offer them a wonderful quality of life. However, they should plan for in-home care with the following preparations for maximum care.
For a family, lack of funds could be the main reason why your loved one can’t remain living at home. Typically, it is more cost effective to place your loved one in a nursing home. Fortunately, there are a couple of options to bring proper care to your loved one in the comfort of their own home on their terms.
A reverse mortgage could serve as an option to help give your loved one the in-home care they rightfully need. Rather than a conventional mortgage, a reverse mortgage does not need to be repaid until the homeowner moves or dies. As a result, all of the money from a reverse mortgage is at the disposal of your loved one for in-home care as long as they continue to live in the home. Those who live in nursing homes do not have access to reverse mortgages compared to those who wish to remain at home. Take the time to review finances with your loved one to see if nursing homes or aging at place is the better option for them.
Check with your older loved one’s life insurance to see if their policy can be cashed in with the company for 50-70% of the policy’s face value. Some policies even permit accelerated benefits if the policy holder is terminally ill. You can also sell the policy to a life settlement company. The amount of your loved one’s settlement will depend on the policy benefit amount, premiums, and condition of the policy holder.
Older seniors tend to think of their home as a safe haven. However aging seniors realize that navigating throughout their home can suddenly become hazardous. Family members of seniors who seek alternatives to nursing homes need to make home preparation adjustments for their loved one as needed. This means that your loved one needs to stay in a safe location that requires adjustments to their living situation.
Some areas throughout their home that might need attention include the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. Make sure that these areas are easily accessible and free from tripping hazards. There are other ways your can prepare a home for your senior loved one including:
- Easily accessible shelves and non-slip mats in the kitchen
- First-floor bedrooms to avoid falling when navigating the stairs
- Handrails installed by the tub to prevent slips in the bathroom
Every measure is simple and can easily be implemented. These preparation tips can go a long way in creating a safe environment for your loved one. Make sure that every room is well-lit to avoid any stumbling or unclear paths to each part of the home at night. Creating a safe home environment can keep your loved one’s close.
Special Assistance and Care
Eating healthy foods and taking prescribed medication are crucial to proper care for a senior’s physical well-being. As one gets older, they may find challenges in grocery shopping or picking up prescriptions every week. For those who do not have a family member or caregiver to run errands for them, there are options to work around these issues. Special assistance can help your loved one age in place at home rather than a nursing home.
Traditional options such as Meals on Wheels are no longer needed to remain independent and help get your daily needs taken care of in the event that you can’t drive a car or run errands. There are food delivery services such as Postmates that can handle any food delivery needs. Options for food, medication, and household item deliveries exist for those who need them.
Many are worried about sticking to a budget, or fear loneliness for their older loved one. You and your family may want to consider another type of special care service for your senior to help your loved one enjoy their living at home. In many locations, your senior can take advantage of a roommate sharing program. Additionally, in-home care service from Harmony Home Care can provide the companionship that your loved one needs, as well as providing care services such as meal preparation, cleaning, and transportation.
Those who focus on maintaining proper care in their overall physical well-being are typically the happy and healthy of aging seniors. Check on the health of your loved one by getting regular checkups from their doctors. Have them follow a regimen of prescribed medications and supplements, and keep them active by taking them on daily walks or exercise classes built for aging seniors.
If tracking the overall health and care of your loved one is a bit too overwhelming, you and your family may consider asking your loved one to help you set up reminders. Additionally, those with in-home care services can also handle these medication and exercise reminders for your loved one. These reminders can let your loved one know when to take medications, when to make an appointment, or when to get a daily walk in. Those who wish to seek at-home living arrangements as an alternative to a nursing home need to stay on top of their overall health.
There are also medical alert systems that can provide medication reminders automatically to check in with their users. This is another great option to keep your loved one focused on their overall health. Many of the devices are sleek and small, so your loved one won’t have to worry about carrying a bulky electronic device with them wherever they want to go.
Even when you take the time to safeguard your loved one’s home against falls, accidents still happen. You need to prepare your loved one in case of emergencies. One of the best ways to make sure that your loved one does not end up in the emergency room is to invest in a reliable medical alert system.
You’ll need to know how you can get help to your loved one fast, because every second counts in a fall, stroke, or heart attack. With a personal emergency response system, your loved one can keep their independence in the comfort of their home, while feeling confident that they’ll never be alone in case of a fall or other medical emergency.
Medical alert devices allow your loved one to press buttons on a wrist or neck pendant, connecting them immediately to an emergency operator. They’ll be able to let a medical professional know what is happening, which will get them the specific type of assistance immediately.
Many modern medical alert systems now offer options that look more similar to a piece of jewelry than a typical personal emergency response system. Discrete medical alert devices let your loved one rest easy knowing that they will never be alone during an emergency. Keep your loved one free and independent with an emergency response system.
Those who decide to grow older in place without a spouse or roommate may find themselves becoming lonely or even depressed. While this isn’t a reason to avoid staying in your own home in your late ages, it is definitely something to consider. Keep your loved one connected to others to stay as happy and healthy as possible.
One of the best ways to keep your loved ones happy while living alone is by staying connected to the outside world. Consider picking up a cell phone for your senior, so they can have regular video chats with the rest of the family on a device. Consider taking your loved one to a community center for senior-focused activities that interest them.
Remember that feeling a sense of belonging and purpose is important to most aging seniors. Whether your loved one chooses to stay connected socially in-person or over the phone, they should make it a regular part of their life to ward off any loneliness. Keeping your loved one happy and healthy can start by keeping them connected.
Home & Community Based Services
Medicaid is the medical insurance program for individuals who have low incomes and few assets, but does not include non-medical, long-term, in-home care as a standard part of its coverage. However, Medicaid has begun to recognize that the alternative to unaffordable in-home assistance is nursing home care - which Medicaid covers. Some states have established Home & Community based services as a way of allowing Medicaid recipients to remain living at home.
These care services offer Medicaid coverage for a limited amount of in-home care assistance. Additionally, not every state offers Home & Community Based Services, so be sure to contact your local Medicaid office to check out eligibility for your loved one.
Nursing Homes and In-home Senior Living
With today’s technology, living at home is easier than ever for aging seniors who comfortably age in place at home as an alternative to living in a nursing home. Taking the time to make a few home and life adjustments for your senior can keep them happier and healthier without leaving the home they’ve stayed in for so many years. Easy adjustments to living can keep your loved one living at home rather than living in a nursing home.
If your loved one wishes to grow older in place as an alternative to living in a nursing home, sit them down to discuss with other family members to research the best modern senior safety options for in-home care. You should also visit Harmony Home Care to discover assistance to let your loved one live a happy and healthy life in the comfort of their own home. Additionally, check in with your senior’s doctor to make sure that their physical health is stable. Ask for any tips they might have for in-home care options.
Only your senior can decide whether or not they want to age in place. Those who plan to age in place as an alternative to living in nursing homes should consider in-home care options. If you and your loved one take the time to prepare themselves, their family homes, and their family, there is no reason why they can’t live in the house they’ve come to love over the years for even longer with in-home care.