As people age, the thing they worry about is change. Earlier in life, residents of Encino and elsewhere may wonder about their families, but as they get older, they may start worrying more about their own future, especially where they’re going to live and what kind of care they may need, such as palliative care.
Some of these decisions may be out of their hands due to circumstances or specific health conditions where they may need advanced care, but there also can be some choices they can make and some big pro-con lists to create.
The team at Accredited Home Care has had plenty of conversations with possible clients, clients, and family members about different living arrangements. As an established home health care provider in California, for more than 20 years, we’re always happy to describe the in-home care services we can provide, from 24-hour care to scheduled visits through the week by nursing professionals and other therapists.
This type of care allows someone to stay in their own home, which can be preferable to many since they don’t have to move or sell, and they’ll be in familiar surroundings.
At the same time, we’re also advocates for those who may need to relocate to a residential care facility, especially if they, their family, or their health provider believe it can offer them the best level of care and the best quality of life. Perhaps someone has mobility problems, memory problems, safety and security concerns, or other reasons where staying at home isn’t a great fit.
Of course, none of these decisions are permanent. Perhaps someone can remain independent and age in place at their home for a few years but then may need to relocate in the future if their physical health or mental health declines. Some residential communities also provide varying levels of care and allow residents to move around as needed.
Or maybe a family member can provide caregiving duties in the future and allow them to return home, but may not be an option now. All of these can be options that can be discussed and occasionally re-evaluated with family members and loved ones. Or they may need to stay at a rehabilitation facility for a certain number of weeks or months and then gain skills to return home safely.
Pros and cons of aging at home
Independence is one of the biggest “pros” for people who are deciding which option works best. If you live at home, you’re able to stay in your own space and there’s no need to move. You can be surrounded by familiar possessions and stay in your own bed. You can have meals whenever you want them, and, if you’re able, you can prepare and serve them yourself.
You can keep your own schedule and plan your day.
On the health care side, there are a variety of options available, from full-time caregivers to nurses and others who occasionally come by. Even if you have a caregiver, such as a family member or close friend, some additional services may be welcome.
For instance, Accredited Home Care is happy to offer standard and advanced nursing services. Our trained aides also can help with other tasks, including light housework, meal preparation, errands, transportation, and more.
In addition, clients have access to a variety of skilled therapists who can visit to provide supplementary care. These can include:
- Massage therapists, who can help relax tired muscles and provide relief;
- Physical therapists, who can help improve movement or some rehabilitation after an injury or medical problem;
- Occupational therapists, who can help clients develop or re-learn skills to make it easier to get around safely, everything from getting in and out of bed to evaluating the overall safety of the home to avoid future falls or other injuries.
All of these options can make it easier for someone to stay at home and age in place.
Having to relocate to a residential facility, on the other hand, can provide regular access to medical care. Some have 24-hour nurses and other staff always on hand. They also have a variety of therapists who can work with residents for whatever conditions they’re working on.
Residents often have their own rooms although there are common areas where residents can gather to socialize. The social component is also emphasized, which may not be as accessible for people who live at home.
Most facilities also provide meal service, either in rooms or in a common dining room, which can be appealing to people who either aren’t comfortable cooking for themselves.
Preferably these conversations about the most suitable place can take place as someone ages, which can avoid the turmoil of having to decide something in a hurry if someone’s health changes quickly, such as a fall, stroke, or similar disabling medical condition.
If you are having these conversations now, it’s an excellent time to learn more.
Aug. 21-25 is considered National Safe at Home Week, where families can learn about different home health care options available, including ways to make your home safer for everyone.