Home and elderly life.

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Home and elderly life in the elderly

Deciding whether a senior should stay at home or move into a senior care community can be an emotional struggle for families. Change is often difficult, and seniors who have resided in the same place for years may not be open to moving to a senior community, even if they know it is a good idea.

To spare your family and loved ones some of the emotions and stress of this decision, there are a few key considerations to consider when assessing current situation and future needs. Being open and honest will help determine whether moving to a senior community will improve the quality of life for everyone involved.

    Assess the senior's personal needs in daily life. Consider everything needed, including meal preparation, hands-on help with cleaning, personal care, and medications and other assistance. Don't forget tasks like going out to get the mail, maintaining a house and lawn, or even going to the grocery store or hair salon. If assistance is required to complete daily tasks, how many friends and family members participate each day and can this assistance be sustained in the future?
    If daily help at home is provided by a paid caregiver, costs can add up quickly, even if the hired help is only for a few hours a week. In addition to cost, the right caregiver can be difficult to find and even harder to retain, leaving gaps in the continuity of care. So when comparing staying at home versus moving to a senior living community, be sure to factor these costs and concerns into your bottom line decision-making process.
    Safety is important, so make a list of safety concerns for those living alone or with an elderly spouse or partner. Consider their ability to walk and climb stairs and possible scenarios if they fall or become ill. According to the National Council on Aging, "Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for older Americans. Falls threaten seniors' safety and independence and create tremendous economic and personal costs." Be sure to include activities that may become more challenging or impossible over time, such as bathing, climbing stairs, and driving.
    Insulation is another very important issue for elderly people living at home. As it becomes increasingly difficult to go out, many find themselves alone most of the time and eventually become lonely. Ultimately, this lifestyle can reduce their strength, affect sleep, and even cause depression. The AARP Foundation's Connect2affect program offers an assessment for loved ones living alone that can reveal whether isolation is a concern before it becomes an issue.
    For many seniors, the concept of living in a senior community is immediately associated with high costs. But before jumping to financial conclusions, take the time to compare the cost of owning and maintaining a home to living in a high-end community where everything is managed and maintained for them. Be sure to include all home-related expenses, not just rent or mortgage payments; Taxes, utilities, maintenance, insurance and paid carers (as mentioned in point 2) should also be included in the comparison. Financing options should also be explored, as Medicare generally does not cover non-medically necessary senior living. Make a list of their portfolio that includes long-term care insurance, veterans' benefits, pensions, proceeds from the sale of real estate, and other sources of financing.
    Talk to your family about any findings and concerns. Include everything from how much assistance they can continue to provide to concerns about isolation to the comparative costs of moving to a senior living community versus staying at home.

    "By providing personalized care services, we offer individuals the opportunity to live their lives as independently as possible."

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