Home sweet home: how Aging in Place can help keep you in your home for longer
Home, sweet home. We all want to stay in the home we love for as long as possible, close to friends, social groups and our community. However, as we grow older, our needs will inevitably change. So, remaining in our home will require making changes to our home, our lifestyle and the amount of help and support we might need. That’s what Aging in Place is all about:
What is Aging in Place?
Aging in Place, or Aging in the Community, is a national approach to helping seniors live in their homes by planning for changes in their health, mobility or social connections.
“Aging in place means having the health and social supports and services you need to live safely and independently in your home or your community for as long as you wish and are able.”
Benefits of Aging in Place
The benefits of Aging in Place go way beyond the comfort of not having to move house or away from your community. Staying in your home community ensures a continuity of doing what you enjoy, of care from your family physician and health services, of being close to friends and family, and general familiarity with the ‘way things work’ in your area.
For seniors with early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s, the familiarity of home is very important. It is reassuring, part of a routine they know and understand. It also serves as a secure ‘base’ into which you can add mental stimulation and social interaction, as their capability to travel beyond the home inevitably decreases. Regular visits by a home care professional which include dedicated interaction time and social stimulation can be so much more beneficial than a shorter visit focused purely on personal care.
Planning is key
Aging in Place works best when it is planned in advance, rather than left until it reaches a tipping point. Whilst there will always be unexpected changes that will affect how we live, such as an accident or sudden illness, planning ahead will help you adapt to these situations if and when they happen.
Equally, making changes before they are absolutely necessary is far less stressful and can be done gradually over time, rather than in a rush.
The areas of your lifestyle you need to think about and plan for include:
- Your Health
- Home Environment
- Financial Position
- Current Support and Services
- Spouse/Partner Requirements
- Personal Safety
- Social Connections
- Local Community
To help you plan, there is an excellent checklist “Thinking about your future? Plan now to Age in Place” which you can download and complete in your own time.
Changes to your home
Your home might suit you nicely now, but consider how your needs may change as you become less mobile.
- Fix hand rails on both sides of steep front steps, for example, or install a ramp that’s easier to walk up.
- Add grab rails in your bathroom, and consider other modifications such as a walk-in shower rather than a bath tub, and new non-slip flooring. (We have a great home alterations partner that can help with this.)
- If climbing the stairs is already harder than it used to be, you might consider a stair chairlift to make life easier now and in the future.
Maintaining your home
As you age, some of the jobs around the home that used to be easy can get harder, such as mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, painting the house or clearing snow. Planning for Aging in Place can help you assess what you might do to reduce the workload, such as reducing the amount of grass in your back yard and replacing it with a flat patio, or changing planting schemes so your garden is low maintenance.
Of course, you don’t have to do everything yourself! There are lots of independent trades more than happy to help on an occasional or regular basis, from handymen to gardeners.
At Vytality at Home, we believe in providing a holistic approach to home care. We have created partnerships with reliable, trustworthy tradespeople and service companies to provide you with the services you need to stay in your own home. As part of our free in home assessment we will assist you with coordinating the services you need and want.
Help with financing your Aging at Home plan
The Canadian government is very keen to help seniors stay in their own homes for as long as possible. Eligible seniors can also receive tax credits and income supplements, according to their level of income. In addition, there are various schemes to help you finance alterations to your home, buy equipment you might need, and pay for home care services too.
Many seniors (and their families) are not aware that they can choose which care provider they wish to use through self managed care, and what type of particular care they wish to have in place. If you’d like to talk through the home care funding available in Calgary do call us here at Vytality at Home. With decades of experience in senior care and home care provision, we know our way around the various schemes and benefits available here in Alberta!
Your life, your home care, your choice
At Vytality at Home, we aim to enhance the quality of life of those we serve, to keep you safe, comfortable, happy and healthy. To discuss your home care requirement in central Calgary and surrounding districts:
• Call us at 403 476 3680
• Book an appointment at https://vytality.ca/contacts/#booking
• Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org