Deciding whether or not to move an aging parent into a long-term or assisted care facility is certainly one of the most difficult decisions an adult child has to make. Thankfully, more and more options are becoming available to allow your parent to “age in place” – that is, keeping a parent or parents in their own comfortable and familiar home with the appropriate care, as-needed modifications, and any other necessary services.
More and more, our society is realizing both the social and the economic benefits of allowing aging parents to remain in their homes - and to age in place comfortably and peacefully.
The Advantages of Aging in Place
What are the advantages for your parents to age in place? Well, for those who can age at home – lots!
- Aging in place allows aging parents to stay more independent, remain in a home they may have been in for many years, and stay put in the neighborhood and the community they know
- According to the AARP, each and every year the cost of nursing home expenditures continues to rise. Aging in place solutions not only offer happier twilight years for your aging parents - it can also be a much smaller financial hardship for you!
Med Aire Alternating Pressure Pump and Pad System Comfortek Seating PLUS Armed Turn Roll Hand Release
To Age in Place or Not to Age in Place – That is the Question!
If you have a parent with an advanced cases of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, or parents who require 24-hour care or supervision, aging in place is probably not the best option. However, for many aging parents, it is the ideal solution for both the parents and the adult children who are caring for them.
To be successful in assisting your parents to age in place, be sure to consider several things:
- Depending on your parents’ mental and physical health, you may want to discuss obtaining power of attorney to help manage their resources as well as make medical decisions for them
- In order to meet any of your parents’ medical needs, you may need to arrange for some in-home services such as a nurse who comes in from time to time to check on your aging parents, or an experienced home care provider who can be there for more extended periods of time to assist with day to day needs such as bathing and dressing, transportation services, or grocery shopping and cooking
- The home your aging parent live in may need specific modifications or remodeling – anything from installing a walk-in shower, to adding safety rails along in various areas of the house, to putting in ramps - and the list goes on. Whatever is needed to make a safe haven for your aging parent.
Aging in Place: Trending for a New, Improved Future
So, what allows aging parents to be most successful at aging in place? The support of family! When family members are supportive of the idea of keeping mom or dad (or both) independent and at home for as long as possible, and can contribute readily to that goal, aging parents have the best success. And the best of their golden years!
Even if your aging parent has a serious disease or a chronic condition, it no longer means that he or she always needs to leave home and move to a facility or care environment. It does mean, however, that adequate planning and precautions must be taken. You will want to make sure your aging parent has access to the necessary health care. Family members can often provide a lot of the needed support, but there are also community options available.
Aging in place is a new and positive trend, one that will only grow as more and more of the population ages.