Living Alone or Assisted Living: The Ins- and-Outs of Senior Home Care

As parents and relatives age, their dependency on others increases, which will inevitably give you a greater sense of responsibility. You’ll find yourself thinking and worrying about them on a daily basis. Are they safe at home alone? Will they remember to take their medicine? The concerns can be endless. 

There comes a time in every senior’s life when a decision must be made between modifying a current home, buying one that is more accessible, or moving into an assisted living center. No matter what choice you make, here are the ins and outs of senior home care.

Living Alone 

When a senior chooses to live alone instead of moving into a nursing home, there are a lot of changes that have to be made. Once an assisted living facility has been considered, that’s an immediate acknowledgment that the current living situation of a senior is no longer manageable. This could be due to the location, size, organization, or age of the home — regardless of the reason, it is clear that changes need to be made. For seniors living alone, Community Home Health Care recommends installing motion-activated lights, a home security system, and handholds or bars in the bathroom to make daily life easier. Seniors also need to have a close circle of friends and an emergency contact list in the case of an accident. 

Buying a New Home That’s More Senior-Friendly 

You can purchase a new home that is more senior-friendly or invest in modifications to make your current home more accessible. If you opt for purchasing a new house, you don’t have to go through the hassle of planning and making a lot of repairs and improvements — all you have to do is search the market for something smaller and more accessible. You might even be able to find a house that is closer to family members, friends, and medical facilities.

Determining Your Budget for Purchasing a New House 

Before you start looking for new homes, it’s important to take the time to understand how much money you can spend. The last thing you want to do is drain a senior’s bank account. These savings will be important for potential future medical needs. In order to determine how much can be spent, you can use an affordability calculator online. These calculators will help determine the mortgage payment based on a home’s down payment, price, and other factors. It’s a handy tool to use when ironing out the finer budgeting details.

When purchasing a new home, consider finding one in a senior village, which is essentially a community that comes together to help seniors who have chosen to age in place. Or, if you’re open to the idea, look into home-sharing; a roommate can help provide safety and save you a little money.

Making Home Modifications Instead of Buying a New Home 

If you do decide to remain in the same home, it will have to undergo some major remodeling to make it more senior-friendly. Doors, hallways, and kitchen areas may have to be made wider for easier access by wheelchair or walker. A stairlift system might have to be installed for homes with stairs and seniors with difficulty walking (knitted knee support from Jaiyou can also help provide seniors with a little comfort when moving around the house). It’s also important to make some smaller, potentially life-saving changes such as accessible phones and emergency call buttons in bathrooms. 

Keep in mind that some modifications will involve making simple repairs to any existing problems. For example, hire pros to do some routine maintenance on your HVAC system, or bring in someone to repair cracked windows to reduce drafts. 

Considering the Transition to an Assisted Living Facility

Not every senior will be able to live on their own. Better Homes and Gardens notes that over 50 percent of seniors age 95 and older are in assisted living facilities. There are times when no amount of modifications will be able to make up for the issues that elderly people are facing. At these times, it makes more sense to place seniors in the care of assisted living. Although this is a difficult decision for everyone involved, it may be the last resort when living alone becomes too dangerous for seniors. 

It’s not easy to admit when seniors are having trouble living in their homes. To keep our loved ones safe, it’s important to make some necessary changes. Whether you’re making modifications to a current home or looking for one that is more accessible, it’s always important to find something to make a senior’s life easier and safer. 

Photo Credit: Pexels

Leave a comment