Family caregivers in San Diego and their parents navigate a tricky balance between the desire for independence and the need to ensure safety and health. Seniors who enjoyed decades of freedom and self-sufficiency don’t easily hand over control to their children, spouses or concerned relatives. Many seniors and their adult children don’t realize that working with an in home care agency like ours can achieve both goals. There are many levels of home care solutions and support available to seniors before considering a residential facility.
After decades of helping their children, older people understandably balk at becoming dependent on them. These familiar, probably universal, safety-versus-autonomy debates have led some critics to object that adult children overemphasize the former, when what matters more to their parents is maintaining independence and pursuing what they find meaningful. The New York Times, August 30, 2019
Seniors Want to Age in Place
Fifty years ago, when life expectancy averaged about 70 years, planning for a likely five or so years after retirement was less complex. Today’s seniors enjoy a longer post-retirement period but can also experience a more gradual physical and cognitive decline as they live longer and stay healthier than ever. More than ninety percent of seniors today say that they want to stay in their current homes for as long as possible. Home care companions for seniors help preserve the independent living seniors crave. The Centers for Disease Control reported in 2017 that more than 20% of those over 85 needed help with the Activities of Daily Living, which are “the ability to be able to independently eat, dress, walk or transfer from one position to another, bathe, and toilet, and maintaining bowel and bladder continence.” Overall, a full seven percent of everyone over 65 needs some kind of help with their personal care. It’s not just the elderly in home care who can benefit from a companion caregiver.
9 Benefits of In Home Care
There are several ways home care in San Diego can help your loved one stay out of an assisted living facility until it’s really necessary. Home care aides can provide a wide variety of services, such as:
- Help with errands, transportation and shopping
- Medication reminders and organizing
- Light housekeeping
- Meal planning and preparation
- Activities of Daily Living
- Care for serious conditions like Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s, heart disease, diabetes, MS, ALS and cancer
- Recovery care for surgery and other post-hospital-discharge conditions
- Respite care
When Nursing Homes Were the Only Option
Seniors today have more caregiving options than their parents and grandparents did. Nursing homes have shifted in purpose since the 1950s and 1960s, and the term itself meant something different to our great-grandparents. Pre-World War II, residential living homes for the elderly had many names: board-and-care homes, convalescent homes, rest homes, retirement homes, and old folks’ homes. They offered basic care and food, but those who needed more sophisticated care went to the hospital. Post-war, when long stays in the hospital for those who didn’t need urgent or acute medical care became expensive, nursing homes shifted in purpose.
Home Care Is an Alternative to a Nursing Home
“Today nursing homes are very different across the board. Some nursing homes still resemble a hospital while others look more like a home.” According to the National Institute on Aging, “facility-based long-term care services include: board and care homes, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and continuing care retirement communities.” Seniors today can get companionship, in home care and even live in caregivers from home care agencies. For seniors who want to age in place, and the loved ones who want to help them preserve their independence, working with an in-home care agency is an ideal solution.