The vocabulary of elder care has rapidly evolved, tracking with the population surge of baby boomers reaching the age where they need elder care. A recent article addressed the Semantics of Senior Living, helping to translate some of the harsh, even stigmatic, terms from last century into modern senior living terminology. There are rest homes, nursing homes, retirement homes, old folks’ homes, assisted living homes, and convalescent homes, but there really is no place like home. With this in mind, we thought we’d define one of the most important terms for senior living – Aging In Place.
Aging In Place simply means remaining in your own home as long as possible as you grow older.
Factors such as mobility, vision or hearing, complex medication, transportation or dementia may slowly nudge you away from taking care of yourself toward requiring a part-time or full-time caregiver. Long before you consider putting your house up for sale or bequeathing it to your children, understand that there are more resources than ever to help you age in place with ease and dignity.
An organization called Aging In Place cites U.S. Census data projecting that as many as 20% of all Americans will be over the age of 65 by the year 2030. This forecast does not present a crisis due to a shortage of retirement homes, but rather a growing opportunity for businesses and technologies to support seniors living within their own homes, choosing to age in place. As a result, there has been a boom of services and technologies to support senior living at home.
A few months ago, we posted a blog on Technology Assisted Living: Home Health Care Is Better Than Ever where we showed that aging in place is a choice being made by more and more elderly people and families each year. The article shed light on the need for sufficient local services such as meal preparation, medication management, housekeeping, social engagement and transportation to ensure safe and effective home health care. Austin, Texas was ranked the #4 city in the entire U.S. by Redfin Corporation in terms of access to programs such as web-based and in-home elderly services, plus overall affordability of aging in place versus moving into an assisted living facility.
Aging In Place Is A Choice - but Start Planning Now
Don't think of 'old age' as a cliff that you will fall off of someday, moving along blissfully until a rapid health decline or other event defines the moment you 'grew old.' Instead, aging is an ongoing process that is largely in your control. You can take charge of how you grow old by making the choice today to live independently at home as long as possible.
Things to consider when planning for Aging In Place:
- Who will take care of me? What if my children aren't able to care for me?
Family members and friends are great resources early on, but you will want to consider professional caregivers as well. If you are planning on behalf of a parent, talking about this transition long before you are forced with a decision will help things to go smoothly.
- What home health care services are available in Austin, TX?
A wide range of home health care services are available to Austin, Texas clients, so take the time to meet with professional caregivers to tailor a care plan to your specific needs.
- What if I'm unable to drive?
Not only do some physicians make house calls, but personal care attendants offer transportation to and from doctor appointments, grocery shopping and other tasks. Other web-based services include Instacart, a grocery delivery service, Porch, a house-cleaning service, and many other services found through Angie's List and other validated services.
- Won't I be lonely at home?
Even if you don't think you need 'health care' services, a great service offered in Austin, Texas is companion care, with professional caregivers spending time socializing, watching television, viewing social media, and even engaging in spiritual activities.
- What if I require 24 hour in home care?
24 hour in-home care is also available for Austin, Texas clients. It is important to note that Medicare does NOT cover 24-hour in-home care. For more information about this, see our FAQ.
- How will I pay for it?
As part of retirement planning, your choice to age in place may mean paying for services not covered by medicare. Consider purchasing additional long-term health care insurance, or saving money in order to pay out of pocket for the best care available. Learn more about how in-home senior care is one of the most affordable types of care available.
- Will my home be a safe place for me?
HomeAdvisor has compiled a list of programs for modifying your home to make it suitable for aging in place. These include tax deductions, home equity loans and other benefits programs.
Aging in Place Is Empowering - but Doesn't Mean You Must Do All The Work
Deciding to age in place ensures that you maximize your independence while maintaining quality of life and personal dignity. Remember, while you are making the choice yourself in advance of your elder care, you will likely require more and more help from others as you get older. Aging in place isn't so much for 'old' people, as it is for responsible people who want a better quality of life in their elderly years. By planning your long-term care and the finances needed to accomplish your goals, decisions about your care are made in advance so that you and your family can meet your needs without having to start from scratch when you suddenly need assistance.
Hill Country Care Providers offers a range of home health care services for those wishing to age in place in Austin, TX. We are focused on providing premier in-home care, not simply on providing the minimal care covered by Medicare. As such, we are an entirely private pay home health agency (Medicare does not cover premier options such as 24-hour in-home care). Our clients either have additional long-term health care insurance or prefer to pay out of pocket for the best care available.