As the majority of older Americans now wish to remain in their homes as they age, a cultural shift toward aging in place has begun in the U.S. When your loved one expresses their desire to stay at home, you’re probably worried about helping them age safely with dignity and preserved quality of life. With proper planning, care, and support, you can help your loved one live at home for longer, and you can do so with appropriate person-centered care. Home care and home health care options can lend an extra hand and support you throughout your caregiving journey.
Aging in place describes the concept of your loved one continuing to live at home and in their community without losing their independence, safety, or quality of life.
This means that older adults should be able to live in the environment they choose, regardless of reduced physical or cognitive abilities or other factors that make it increasingly challenging to remain independent.
You can help your loved one age in place with family caregiving, home care, home health care, or even age-friendly modifications to the home environment. These person-centered and family-centered care options can help preserve your loved one’s autonomy and ability to age safely and with dignity at home.
While your loved one’s situation is unique, there are some positives and negatives of aging in place that may apply to many seniors in the U.S.
Those who choose to age in place may enjoy the following benefits:
However, there are some potential drawbacks to aging in place for your loved one, including the following:
Our free tool provides options, advice, and next steps based on your unique situation.
There are several options for care for elderly parents in their home. Depending on the situation, one or a combination of these may be the most ideal fit for your loved one to age in place at home.
Round-the-clock home care for elderly parents can provide a range of supportive services including housekeeping, personal care assistance, and more. These workers, sometimes called home care aides or personal care aides, can also support the efforts of family caregivers.
Some seniors may need occasional help with transportation and meal prep. Others who require incontinence care, have dementia, or need mobility assistance, but who don’t wish to make the transition to senior living, may need full-time personal care and help around the house.
Home care for the elderly in their own homes may include any of the following activities:
Depending on the services needed, the amount of home care someone receives can be as little as a few hours a week to full-time care. Generally, recipients pay for services by the hour, and agencies or private home care providers set costs for home care. Some agencies may require hourly minimums per week or service in specific time blocks.
Home health care is another type of in-home adult care. Unlike home care, this type of care offers medical care to your loved one in their home.
Nurses or other qualified medical professionals may provide home health care. Their activities with your loved one may include the following:
This type of in-home care for elderly adults is best for those with urgent or ongoing medical issues. The hours needed with this type of care can vary greatly based on your loved one’s unique health concerns. This type of care may be covered partially by Medicare in some circumstances.
Taking care of an aging parent can be a worthwhile endeavor for many adult children. If your parent has cared for you for most of your life, you may now be ready to give back and take care of them.
Many people choose this option for their loved ones. In fact, 53 million unpaid caregivers provide more than $470 billion worth of support to family and friends each year — this financial amount rivals the budget for the entire federal Medicare program, according to USAging.
If you have the time and the resources to dedicate to being a primary family caregiver, you should still consider utilizing senior respite care options occasionally. Remember to take time to attend vital medical appointments, exercise your body, or renew your spirit with a coffee date with friends.
As a family caregiver, you may find additional support through in-person or online caregiver support groups. If your loved one is a veteran, you may be eligible for family caregiver support programs through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
If you’re a family member of someone who wishes to remain independent and at home for as long as possible, you can help them age in place through the following supportive measures:
Our advisors help 300,000 families each year find the right senior care for their loved ones.
While many seniors want to continue to live at home, situations arise that make it less than ideal to try to age in place. It may be time to consider community care instead of in-home care if your loved one is experiencing any of the following:
Hiring an in-home caregiver can feel like a daunting task for an adult child. You want to find the right fit for your parent’s unique situation. Our Senior Living Advisors can help you compare care types, review local in-home care service providers, discuss ways to pay for care, and schedule interviews with potential care providers. From sending in-home care resources to answering all your questions regarding senior living, we’re here to assist you every step of the way.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009, October 15). Healthy places terminology.
Emlet, C. A. & Moceri, J. T. (2011, November 24). The importance of social connectedness in building age-friendly communities. Journal of Aging Research.
USAging. (2022, March). Policy priorities 2022: Promote the health, security, and well-being of older adults.
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2022, September 1). How you can prevent chronic diseases. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Domonell, K. (2018, February 28). Is loneliness worse for you than smoking? Right as Rain by UW Medicine.
Mineo, L. (2017, April 11). Good genes are nice, but joy is better. The Harvard Gazette.
The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical, legal or financial advice or create a professional relationship between A Place for Mom and the reader. Always seek the advice of your health care provider, attorney or financial advisor with respect to any particular matter, and do not act or refrain from acting on the basis of anything you have read on this site. Links to third-party websites are only for the convenience of the reader; A Place for Mom does not endorse the contents of the third-party sites.
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