An estimated 76 million births took place during the baby boom period that started in 1946 and ended in 1964. Today, approximately 76.4 million baby boomers live in the United States. These seniors make up almost one-quarter of the country’s population of 314 million.
Given today’s society of bountiful conveniences, it is no surprise that many baby boomers elect the best quality of life, namely, to age in place. Advancements in technology coupled with improved access to home health care make it likely that many baby boomers will have the opportunity to remain at home longer.
What is aging in place?
Remaining in their home of choice is preferable for many seniors who are in good health. “Aging in place” instills in seniors more well-being than living in the impersonal quarters of a nursing home. Given the increased life satisfaction of remaining at home, these seniors tend to live longer.
Facilitating aging in place requires help, such as medical care, continuing support and accessible services. As individuals’ care needs change over time, care levels are adjusted to continue to promote a high quality of life. Aging in place leads to substantial benefits that sustain or improve life satisfaction.
Successful aging in place takes into account common challenges, such as seniors’ ongoing social, emotional and health needs. The residences where baby boomers choose to live out their years should adequately meet these three essentials to encourage a well-rounded life.
Does health impact one’s ability to age in place?
Research concludes that baby boomers are plagued by chronic health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Developments in healthcare, like the ability to take vital signs at home using biomedical sensors and sending the data to physicians, facilitates aging in place.
Statistics point to a sharp increase in the rate of Alzheimer’s disease in the baby boomer population. Alzheimer’s disease significantly decreases a person’s ability to manage independently. In such cases, specialized dementia care is necessary to make aging in place a viable solution.
Health is a critical factor when determining if an aging parent is capable of maintaining an independent lifestyle at home. Baby boomers who experience severe cognitive or physical decline will require extensive help at home, if the option to remain at home is considered medically feasible.
How do families plan for aging in place?
Financial plans that facilitate aging in place should be made as early as possible, such as during seniors’ working years. Hiring services to help elderly individuals at home comes at a monetary cost. Families and aging parents should be financially prepared despite the availability of volunteer services.
Additionally, residences that are suitable for aging in place should factor in “aging changes”. Poorer eyesight, decreased emotional endurance and less strength become increasingly common as people age. Consulting seniors’ doctors can shed light on how seniors can best improve their health.
How can the home be modified?
Home modifications can make aging in place possible. For instance, Dad may find climbing the stairs exhausting. Ameliorate the difficulty by installing ramps where appropriate. If Mom forgets to turn down the thermostat, install a smart thermostat where family members can remotely control the unit.
Smart refrigerators can be programmed to send an alert to families so they can instantly order fresh produce. Emergency alert systems installed in the home allow injured seniors to call for help right away. Shower grab bars help unsteady seniors feel secure in the bathroom.
How is money management handled?
Staying on top of money matters can be an obstacle for seniors. Family members can enlist the services of financial counselors or even geriatric care managers to help parents with money management. Utility bills can be set up for automatic payments. Trusted relatives may assist with health insurance forms.
What support services are available?
A wide range of helpful services allow seniors to successfully age in place. Mom may be too weak to cook. Meal delivery options are plentiful and can be affordable. She can also hire a caregiver to prepare nutritious meals and help her shop for fresh fruits and vegetables.
Healthcare is a prime concern for elderly individuals. Seniors on medication may need daily reminders to take their pills. Specially designed pill boxes and alerts set on smartphones can help these seniors stay on their medication schedules. Alternately, professional caregivers provide daily medication reminders.
Exercise is pivotal when it comes to sustaining a senior’s health. Caregivers provide transportation to yoga classes or doctor’s appointments when seniors are unable to safely navigate roads or become confused in congested traffic. Caregivers also accompany seniors on walks to ensure safety.
Remaining social helps seniors stay emotionally connected and continue to experience a zest for life. A part of caregiving duties is to transport care recipients to social events. If outings are not on the schedule, companion caregivers converse with seniors to build relationships and reduce isolation.
Hiring professional caregivers is likely the most dependable way adult children can ensure their elderly parents’ home care needs are looked after. Assisting Hands Home Care provides the most compassionate level of senior care in Naperville, Hinsdale and Downers Grove, Illinois, and its surrounding communities.
Our licensed and insured team of caregivers offers a full range of comprehensive elder care services, including respite care, hospice care, live-in care, dementia care and assistance with the activities of daily living. Our non-medical services are designed to provide the support members of the baby boomer generation need to live independently in the security of home for as long as they are able.
Families in Will and Kendall Counties, Illinois, turn to Assisting Hands Home Care to support their baby boomer parents as they age in place. Care plans are customized to suit the individual needs of our care recipients. As your parents’ requirements change over the years, our specialists adjust the care plan to accommodate their unique needs.
Help your baby boomer parents live out their best years at home with independence and dignity by contacting Assisting Hands Home Care.