It’s no secret; whether it’s our parent or a loved one, we all want to help seniors stay in their homes rather than move into a facility. As family members, it’s critical to understand just how much they value their independence over safety. Although the decision is dauntingly complex, with the right help, the seniors can safely stay in their homes while preserving their individual rights of choice and autonomy.
First, consider how their health may change over the coming years and how it will affect their living arrangements. You may want to consult with a professional geriatric care manager on an hourly basis to thoroughly examine the following questions:
- Will the individual’s health allow him or her to navigate the stairs to an upstairs bedroom in the coming years? If not, what changes can be made to create a bedroom on the main living floor?
- Will the individual be able to cook their meals to guarantee proper nutrition? If not, what family member or services can deliver food to the home?
- Is the individual cognitively able to take care of themselves? Who will visit them regularly to assess their cognitive abilities over time?
- Is the individual able to take medication correctly and on time? If not, what services can support this? Are visiting nurses services necessary or can in-home care professionals meet this need?
Secondly, socialization is vital to the ongoing health of an elderly adult. Isolation can cause depression, anxiety, and poor health. A geriatric care manager can help to find the services and activities that can keep an elderly adult engaged in life. Some activities may include:
- Senior centers
- Hobby groups
- Religious and civic organizations with interest groups and events
- Support groups
- Recreational activities through local organizations
Take a comprehensive approach to help seniors stay in their homes
At LivHOME, we help families navigate their options and devise a Plan of Care that aligns with each family member’s goals. Our care managers have the experience and backgrounds in social work, nursing, gerontology, and mental health to support the aging parent and the family. They can assist you across eight functional areas:
- Health and disability
- Financial matters
- Housing questions
- Resolving family issues
- Finding local resources
- Advocating for seniors
- Legal documents and questions
- Crisis intervention
How to assess an elderly adult’s quality of life at home
The care manager will first conduct a quality of life assessment to help elderly adults stay home. A comprehensive in-home assessment allows them to make recommendations for the health and safety of the loved one. For example, they can assess:
- Personal values and preferences
- Physical health and medication adherence
- Emotional health
- Functional abilities
- Home and neighborhood safety
- Cognitive ability
- Risk factors
- Socialization needs
- Review of insurance, legal, and financial issues
Understanding these aspects of life can dramatically impact the health and well-being of an older adult.
Ensure a safe environment to help aging parents stay home
A geriatric care manager can conduct an assessment of the home to ensure it is fall-proof. According to the Centers for Disease Control, falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for older adults and more than one-third of people aged 65 and older fall each year.
Preventing falls is one of the most important things a family can do to help aging parents stay home. The geriatric care manager can help the family to make the home fall-proof by removing throw rugs, improving lighting throughout the home, and making sure the loved one has proper footwear to wear inside and outside the house.
Aging in place can help seniors maintain good health. Making sure that happens successfully and safely can be accomplished with the help of LivHOME. Their staff will be able to determine which types of resources and support services are needed in the community.