The Benefits of Aging in Place: Why Staying at Home Can Enhance Quality of Life

Aging in place is allowing your elderly loved one to stay in the comfort of their own home as they age, rather than moving into an assisted living facility or nursing home. Allowing your loved one to age in place offers many benefits to their physical and mental health.

When your loved one can stay in their home surrounded by their familiar belongings, they can retain independence and control and remain positive about their future. Here is a look at the biggest benefits of aging in place and how staying at home can enhance your elderly loved one’s quality of life.  

How Do You Know if Aging in Place Is Right for Your Loved One? 

Aging in place allows your loved one to live safely and independently in their own home as they age. You can supplement aging in place with in-home caregiving services, respite care services, meal preparation and delivery services, community activities for seniors, and transportation assistance.

Before you consider aging in place for your loved one, you should make sure their home is safe and do everything you can to minimize their risks of falls, accidents, and injuries. Aging in place may be the right choice for your loved one if:

  • Your loved one has strong ties to their family and community.
  • Your loved one knows their neighborhood well.
  • Your loved one is relatively healthy and mobile. 
  • Your loved one’s house is safe and comfortable. 
  • Your loved one isn’t showing signs of dementia, Alzheimer’s, or memory or cognitive issues.  
  • Your loved one doesn’t have a history of falls or accidents in the home.
  • You can commit to providing help and companionship for your loved one or hiring an in-home caregiver.
  • You can help your loved one make their home safer and make modifications to improve safety, security, and mobility.

Aging in Place vs. Assisted Living Care

Certain factors can make it difficult for your loved one to stay in their own home as they age. In some situations, your loved one can comfortably age in place until a certain point when they need additional care and resources, such as those they would find in an assisted living facility. Consider assisted living placement services or a nursing home if:

  • Your loved one’s home is too large, outdated, unsafe, or poorly maintained to be safe.
  • Your loved one can’t keep up with home maintenance or household chores.
  • Your loved one doesn’t have any family or friends nearby.
  • Your loved one lives in an apartment complex and can’t navigate stairs alone.
  • Your loved one doesn’t know the neighborhood well, can’t drive, and has mobility issues.
  • Your loved one is exhibiting signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
  • Your loved one is prone to wandering.
  • Your loved one has a major disease, illness, or injury that requires around the clock care from professionals.
  • Your loved one has no opportunities for companionship or socialization. 
  • Your loved one’s home can’t accommodate modifications or renovations that make it safer.
  • Your family can’t provide regular caregiving services or companionship.

How Much Does it Cost to Age in Place? 

Aging in place is usually less expensive than moving into an assisted living facility or nursing home, but the costs depend on the size of the home, what renovations need to be done, the cost of a caregiver or other services, and whether your loved one is still paying off their mortgage. 

Making Sure Your Loved One’s Home Is Safe

Before your loved one can age in place in their home, you must make sure their home is safe. Even healthy seniors are at risk of falls or accidents in the home. As your loved one ages, they will lose muscle mass, become less coordinated, and develop health problems that affect their mobility, cognitive powers, coordination, and balance.

Hire an expert to perform a home safety evaluation to determine what renovations or modifications need to be made to the home. Common modifications that allow aging in place include improved lighting, flooring repairs, installing safety bars or grab bars in the bathroom, moving items to lower shelves or cabinets, scheduling landscaping or yard work services, and repairing appliances and heating and cooling systems.

Hiring an In-Home Caregiver

If you and your family don’t have the time or resources to provide regular caregiving or companionship to your loved one, you can hire an in-home caregiver. A caregiver can provide your loved one with assistance with tasks of daily living, including bathing, grooming, dressing, meal preparation, light housekeeping, and medication reminders. Caregivers can also provide companionship and transportation to medical appointments and social activities.  

Finding Resources for Aging in Place

Your state and local government and charitable agencies offer resources to help your loved one age in place. You can check with your local council on aging or the National Aging in Place Council to find information on resources. The Center for Aging in Place also can provide resources, information, and assistance that will help you improve the comfort and safety of your loved one as they age in place.  

Considering Senior Community Activities or Adult Day Care

Your community may have resources or activities designed for seniors. See if there is a city or county senior center in your area that provides free or low-cost activities for seniors. You can also look into adult day care programs. These programs provide care, companionship, and activities for seniors on a daily basis when family caregivers aren’t available.  

Looking Into Food and Meal Preparation Services 

Signing your loved one up for a food delivery or meal delivery program can fill in gaps between their cooking abilities and your ability to provide meals. These services deliver meals to seniors who aren’t able to grocery shop or cook for themselves. There are local agencies and organizations that provide low-cost meal delivery options, or you can look into other meal delivery and grocery delivery services in your area.  

Finding Transportation Assistance

Your community may also offer transportation assistance for seniors who need transportation to medical appointments, grocery stores, and other locations. Your local council on aging or the National Volunteer Transportation Center can help you find solutions. You can also sign your loved one up for ride share programs.  

Schedule a Consultation for In-Home Care Services in Arizona

Our experts at Placita In Home Care can help you and your family get the home caregiving services you need in Southern Arizona. Our experienced, compassionate caregivers provide assistance with daily living activities as well as companionship, meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders, and transportation to medical appointments and social activities. We also offer free home safety evaluations and assisted living placement services. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation to discuss your options for in-home care.