The American population is aging—the Administration on Aging expects the over-65 population to swell to over 72 million by 2030, a growth of more than 30 million from today’s numbers—and continued independence is a major concern for adults rapidly approaching their golden years.
Adults of all ages want to have their own homes and live in familiar communities as they get older, but aging in place isn’t as easy as avoiding a movie into a nursing home or assisted living community.
At Deupree House, residents are able to find support when they experience a physical setback. They're able to age in place thanks to our senior services and the skilled nursing and assistive care of our Enriched Living services provided by Home Care by Black Stone.
If you aren’t part of a retirement community like ours, there still ways you can make living and aging at home possible.
Connect to local senior services.
Those of our readers who are looking to help older adult parents age in place should consider how a Geriatric Care Manager can provide resources for senior care at home. Peggy Slade-Sowders, a geriatric care manager with Episcopal Retirement Homes’ Living Well Senior Solutions, notes that a care manager does whatever it takes to help older adults age at home.
No task is too great or too small for a geriatric care manager.
Programs like Living Well Senior Solutions help older adults live wherever they call home for as long as possible by helping seniors and their children make the most of local opportunities and by providing a number of senior care services.
- Provide education and information on local senior services and other resources.
- Help clients and their families through the complicated process of “seniorizing” a house.
- Correct potential safety issues and prevent countless falls.
- Assist with technology like emergency response devices, medication dispensing systems, and easier to manage phones, so that clients could stay safely in their homes.
- Prevent hospitalizations through early intervention and follow-up.
- Help clients keep up the kind of senior living they’re used to— getting out in the community, going on trips, and attending events.
- Shuttle clients to doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping and other errands.
Take advantage of senior living technology.
Senior living technologies can help older adults and their caregivers create a better quality of life in the home. There are four basic categories of senior living technologies that provide a number of assistive services for the physical health and wellbeing of older adults.
1. Senior healthcare technologies make some aspects of senior care self-service.
- Interactive telemedicine brings the doctor’s office into the comfort of the home. Real time interactive communication devices help older adults consult their senior healthcare providers when they aren’t able to make it into the office.
- Smartphone applications provide older adults with the ability to be hands-on with their health and receive health tips for seniors, even on the go.
2. Cognitive technologies can help older adults with memory issues maintain quality of life or even fight cognitive decline.
- Reminder systems can keep older adults on track with medications, tasks, and even home safety, providing both seniors and their families with peace of mind
- Computer programs can provide the daily mental stimulation older adults need to stay sharp and independent.
3. Safety technologies provide peace of mind and help adults live safely at home for as long as possible.
- Active safety management monitors the condition of the home through detectors (for events like a fire or fall) and environment controls (like automatic stove shutoff).
- Assistive technologies like grab bars or mobility aids help keep seniors safe and independent in the home.
4. Social connectedness technologies keep senior living plugged into an enriching and supportive community.
- Multimedia devices like cell phones, tablets or computers offer video or instant messaging programs that help seniors stay connected to friends and family.
- The internet provides valuable opportunities to build and maintain connections through social networking websites and email.
Image Credit: Amanda Govaert