Article by Kennan Dalton
We’re a population that’s living longer than ever before, and with longevity comes the problem of making sure that old age for ourselves or our loved ones is as happy as possible. For most, this comes with senior home care. But as with every new venture, the right preparation makes the difference between success and disappointment. That, and a good attitude.
Talking about our old-age needs can range from being uncomfortable to taboo. But you’ll need honest answers to tough questions to make it work. How independent are you or your loved one really? Do you just need some help or do you require medical monitoring? Is your house what you need it to be so you can be safe and happy remaining in it?
Even a chronic illness doesn’t mean a total loss of independence. If you can take care of your personal needs but can’t manage cooking, errands, and housework on your own, you could be fine with part-time help.
But no matter how well we’ve taken care of ourselves, age imposes limitations that can be compounded by illness. A chronic debilitating condition necessitates in-home healthcare from someone who has the right background and training. You or your loved one will need someone with either licensed practical nursing or home health nursing training, preferably in the area of elder care.
Staying at home can make the difference between maintaining a good attitude toward aging and giving up. Avoiding stairs and keeping the sleeping, bathing, and living areas centralized is important. If your home isn’t up to the task because it’s two stories or lacks proper facilities, some creative thinking and prudent renovations can be the solution.
Bathrooms can pose a problem, especially in two-story homes with the bedrooms upstairs. Likely the only bathroom downstairs will be a half bath, meaning there’s only a toilet and sink. This, too, can be surmounted by installing a walk-in shower with a seat.
But even one-story homes might benefit from redesigning the bathroom. The safest way for the elderly to bathe, with or without assistance, is in a walk-in shower. This simple renovation will make it easier to maintain dignity and a good relationship with your home help.
Don’t hesitate to ask the advice of professionals, such as your doctor, or friends who have already gone through the experience of setting up senior home care for themselves or their loved ones. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel to make sure that every contingency is covered. Approaching the task with common sense and love will provide you and your family with a happy result.
I’m a healthcare professional specializing in home health care. For more resources and information, check out BrightStar.
At some point in our lives, we need to face the need for senior home care, either for our loved ones or for ourselves.
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