Ageing in place means living in your own home as you get older, rather than moving into a care facility. This may be a viable option if you don’t need much day-to-day assistance, have a close network of family and friends living near you, and you can find the right home care services for your needs. You should consider the range of services available before you decide if ageing in place is right for you.
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Are home care services right for you?
It’s completely natural to want to remain living in your own home as you grow older. Your home will be full of memories and your neighbourhood will be full of familiar people. However, many of us will need some type of care assistance when we get older.
Even though you may be used to handling everything yourself, as you get older your circumstances change and you may find that taking care of yourself becomes much more difficult. If you don’t like the idea of moving to a retirement community, assisted living facility, or nursing home, perhaps home care assistance may be appropriate for you.
What types of senior housing are available?
If the maintenance of your home feels overwhelming, or you feel isolated at home, perhaps an independent living or retirement community may be the right option for you. While residents live independently, most retirement communities offer lots of amenities and services.
These facilities are more about making life easier than taking away your independence. However, if your medical needs are particularly demanding, you may be better suited to an assisted living facility or nursing home.
Dealing with changes in your independence.
It’s not unusual to feel confused and vulnerable when you find that you can no longer do the things you have been able to do all your adult life. You may even feel angry or guilty at having to rely on others to support you. You may not like having strangers in your home.
However, if you can keep your mind open to new possibilities, you may be able to maintain some aspects of your independence for longer. Decline can happen gradually or rapidly and a sudden change in health can lead to significant problems if you are not open to a change in lifestyle.
Deciding on the best home care services for you.
It can be very difficult to entrust the care of yourself and your home to others, especially if you don’t know them. You can allay these fears by making careful, considered decisions. Talk to your family and friends about your situation. You may have a neighbour who could regularly check on you or even help around the house and garden.
Local charitable groups may organise meals or social activities for the elderly. Find out if your friends or family know of any care providers they can recommend. Your doctor may also be able to provide you with referrals. How you hire home care providers also depends on the kind of help you need.
Hiring someone to do your shopping or tidy your garden, is not the same as hiring someone to provide live-in personal care. Remember that the more research you do on the initial hiring process, the better the chances of finding the right help.