Old age is not always easy, especially if it affects the health and mobility of your loved ones. Eventually, the question of whether or not to relocate them to a nursing home will arise. What should you do? Before you rush into any decisions, it’s a good idea to explore the upsides and drawbacks of each option. The benefits of elderly homecare may surprise you.
5 Reasons Seniors Prefer Homecare
Homecare for the elderly may seem counterintuitive. After all, aren’t nursing homes specifically designed to make life as easy as possible for seniors? Yes, and no. While nursing homes are indeed designed with older people in mind, there are other factors that influence their effectiveness. Here we’ve compiled a list of five important benefits of elder home care to help you understand why seniors usually prefer it to nursing homes.
1. It’s More Familiar to Them
The first, and perhaps most obvious reason that seniors prefer homecare, is that home is more familiar. We all like to be in surroundings that make us feel safe and comfortable, which is exactly what home does. Unfortunately, that sense of familiarity is generally absent from nursing homes. Although many of them try to make it as comfortable as possible, it’s still a completely new environment, and that takes time to get used to—which can be burdensome for seniors. Homes, on the other hand, are filled with pleasant memories and pictures of family and friends. Your loved one will be accustomed to the way it looks, sounds, and smells at home, which will provide them with a sense of security.
2. They Retain Their Independence
Living at home allows you the freedom to do what you want without having to ask for anyone’s permission—and that should not change simply because you are aging. A nursing home is, by its very nature, restrictive. It comes with its own rules and routines that apply to everyone who lives there. However, homecare enables seniors to make their own decisions regarding activities and entertainment, daily meals, trips to town or to the store, and visits from friends and family. Younger people often take these decisions for granted, but it’s crucial that we allow our aging loved ones to continue making them for themselves as long as they are able to.
3. It Helps Preserve Social Relationships
Technological advancements in travel and communication have made it possible for young people to form and maintain relationships all over the world. But, the senior members of our families are from a different time, and most of their relationships rely on proximity to their homes.
To move your loved one to a nursing home would be to move them away from most, if not all, the people they know. Although they’ll meet new people in a nursing home, it won’t be the same; the life-long connections they have with those closest to them will not be present outside of visits from loved ones. Homecare helps older people preserve their most important social relationships, which leads to happier lives and a brighter outlook.
4. It’s More Affordable and Financially Sound
Living in a nursing home can be expensive. According to the AARP, it can cost as much as $50,000 each year, and most nursing home residents must pay all of the expenses themselves without the help of insurance. Thus, it’s often much cheaper for them to live at home.
Homecare may incur some extra expenses, such as regular visits from a healthcare professional or home delivery of food and products, but these are all minor additions to the budget compared to the alternative. Many seniors will already have paid off their homes by the time they reach retirement age, so continuing to live in their homes will prove more financially sound than moving somewhere else.
5. It Improves Physical and Mental Health
The four points we’ve covered so far also lead to another benefit for elderly people living at home as opposed to at a nursing home: improved overall health.
Familiarity, security, freedom, and company work together to offer a higher quality of life to seniors. And, with the money saved by not staying in a nursing home, your senior family members will also be able to afford more luxuries, activities, and whatever else they may want or need. A nursing home may not be able to do this for them, despite the best efforts of the staff, and this can lead to depression, or even longer recovery times (in cases of illness or injury).
Fun Activities for the Elderly Living at Home
One challenge that may arise from your senior loved one remaining at home is boredom. Nursing homes usually plan fun activities for the elderly living there, and you may worry that your loved ones are missing out on these activities by staying at home. However, this does not have to be the case. Here are some activities you can plan for your seniors, or even enjoy with them:
- Take a walk
- Do some gardening
- Read a book
- Practice arts and crafts
- Listen to music
- Watch movies and TV
- Do some charity work
Resources for Older People Living at Home
It’s not quite possible to cover everything you need to know in one short article. So, we’ve pulled together some additional resources for older people living at home to help you further. You can find useful tips and advice at any of the following:
- National Council on Aging
- Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE®)
- Eldercare Locator
- Area Agencies on Aging
- National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Why Not Choose Homecare?
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the benefits of elderly living at home, some new, fun ideas for activities to plan with your loved ones, and some additional resources to draw from. If you are ready to explore your homecare options, visit us today at https://www.carelink.org/ and learn more about why CareLink is the preferred homecare service for local seniors and their families in Central Arkansas.