Most people want to stay active and independent for as long as they can, but there may come a point when age begins to take its toll and seniors cannot properly care for their homes, their affairs or even themselves. At this point, their loved ones may start to seek a senior care option for them that provides the support that they need while respecting their desire for independence as much as possible.
According to the Population Reference Bureau’s Population Bulletin On Aging in the United States, the number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to almost double from 52 million in 2018 to around 95 million by the year 2060. This will also see the 65-plus age group’s share of the country’s total population climb from 16 to 23 percent. With the U.S. average life expectancy rising and the poverty rate for elderly Americans dropping, there is no shortage of options when it comes to care for your elderly loved one.
However, not all senior care options are created equally, and the quality can vary significantly among providers. In many cases, elderly people can avoid the need for residential care with help from senior caregiving and social support services. Here is a closer look at how you can choose the best senior care option for your loved one.
Aging At Home
A survey carried out by AARP found that 76 percent of Americans aged 50 and older wish to remain in their current residence for as long as possible as they age. Meanwhile, 77 percent said that they would like to remain in their community for as long as possible, although just 59 percent believe they will be able to do so.
There are plenty of ways that you can help your loved one age in place. It may be necessary to make some home modifications that enhance safety, such as installing a stair lift or walk-in tub; In some cases, simply purchasing a medical alert system for your loved one may be enough. If you or someone else can check in on your loved one every day, they are a good candidate for aging in place. Health will also be a consideration as well as their ability to perform basic functions on their own.
Home care services can help people age in place, whether an individual needs assistance with housework, cooking, bathing, transportation or socialization. Some people might opt to enroll in adult daycare to provide structure and activities on a regular schedule for older people who are aging in place, while others might hire in-home caregivers who can visit and provide help with daily living activities.
With three out of ten adults reporting that they feel a lack of companionship, left out or isolated from others, social connection is essential. Nonprofit organizations like Shepherd’s Center of Northern Virginia offer a range of services to support older people who are aging in place.
Moving Your Loved One Into Your Home
Another senior care option is moving your loved one into your home if you have enough space and are capable of taking on the day-to-day care of your family member. It is important to consider the nature of your relationship with your loved one as well as their relationship with anyone else who lives in your home, such as your children or partner.
You also need to consider the layout of your home. For example, will there be space, such as a bedroom, in-law suite, or extra bathroom that your loved one can use exclusively? Privacy is often very important for older adults, not to mention yourself and your family.
If you and your loved one can communicate well with one another, enjoy each other’s company, and your schedule allows you to tend to their care needs – whether that means doing everything yourself or arranging for adult daycare or other activities – this can be a good option.
Assisted Living Communities
A good middle ground for some families is assisted living facilities, which are ideal for older people who need more support than they might get while living independently yet are not at the stage where they need complex medical care each day. These facilities typically offer planned activities, meals and housekeeping as well as reminders for taking medication. This can be a good option if your elderly loved one finds daily life to be increasingly challenging but they do not have a serious medical condition that necessitates round-the-clock care.
Reach Out To Shepherd’s Center Of Northern Virginia
Shepherd’s Center of Northern Virginia is a nonprofit organization that is aimed at providing mature adults with purposeful and independent living. Their volunteers provide services such as meal delivery, companionship, and transportation to medical appointments, as well as an array of social and community support services including lifelong education and volunteer opportunities. If you are in search of a senior care option for your loved one, reach out to Shepherd’s Center of Northern Virginia today.