April 13, 2020 5 min read
What is Ageing in Place?
It refers to when an elderly person lives in their own home or with their family. This type of housing is recommended if the elderly are still independent. Should they require assistance, they can still get help through in-home caregivers. Home modifications can also make the home more safe (e.g grab bars, alarm button, etc)
Why is it important?
As we get older, we may experience new problems such as mobility issues and difficulty in managing daily activities such as bathing, dressing up and cooking. However, with the right planning, we can spend our golden years at home.
Families can help to plan out the golden years of their loved ones by thinking of the type of care that is required by the individual. For example, they can plan around the illnesses that the elderly person has. For caregivers, they can learn about the support that the elderly person needs in order for them to continue to stay at home.
Some tips to encourage Ageing in Place:
What kind of home arrangement to go for- Independent Living or Assisted Living? This depends on the needs of the elderly. It is determined by the elderly person's ability to do their daily activities, such as personal care, meals preparation, health management, housekeeping, etc., without help.
Some questions from 'AgingCare' that caregivers can use as a guideline:
Instead of having the caregiver monitoring them constantly, the elderly can use this to alert someone when they need it
If they have mild mobility issues and can still walk, choose a walker instead of a wheelchair. This is to encourage the elderly to improve their stability while keeping them safe
When deciding beds for the elderly, think of their needs. Bed rails provide a specific function for the user - to help them get out of bed.
BUT, there are some things to note for IL housing arrangements:Even though the elderly are encouraged to live independently, it is also important to make sure their needs are met! At times, elderly may reject any form of help or might not even know they need assistance. Thus, caregivers have to evaluate their needs and must think of ways so the elderly can get the right support.
Opt for a wheelchair ONLY if they have serious mobility issues. If they need a wheelchair, they also need to consider getting ramps. Before deciding, evaluate other options such as canes, walkers or rollators as they can be more helpful for their mobility.
Opt for a nursing bed ONLY if the elderly really needs the functions. Otherwise, they might provide unnecessary features that might not be helpful for the elderly's mobility and it can be quite costly. The user may also feel uncomfortable having to change their regular, familiar bed.
How to plan for an AL housing arrangement?
It is best to avoid turning the home of the elderly into a nursing home, with the over-reliance on assistive products. How can Nursing Homes fall under Assisted Living?
Nursing Homes are often used interchangeably with Assisted Living. Although there are differences in features and services offered, there are reasons why they are considered similar:
Otherwise, if the elderly can still manage themselves in terms of doing daily activities, it is better to live in a home (or their own home) that complements their mobility, promotes independence and allows them to age well.
#1: For elderly who want to live their senior years at home, they can modify their home to make it elderly-friendly. According to AIC, most common home modifications include:
#2: A new type of housing will be made available in May 2020:
Assisted-living flats comes with 24/7 emergency response
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