Most seniors prefer to age in place, in the comfort of their own homes, instead of moving to a care facility. Follow this guide as you plan for yourself (or a loved one) to continue living at home through the golden years.
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Consider these common home remodels for aging in place safely and comfortably.
- Install a Walk-In Bath/Shower
Prevent falls with a small door, allowing you to walk into the tub or shower. A handheld showerhead is also useful for those with decreased mobility.
- Remove Uneven Flooring
Raised thresholds and decorative rugs can be tripping hazards, especially for someone using a walker or a wheelchair.
- Create Wheelchair Accessibility
Install an outdoor ramp to the entryway, widen doorways, and rearrange furniture to make it easier to move around in a chair.
- Get a Bathroom Seat
Whether it’s part of the shower, toilet, or a movable seat; having somewhere to sit is essential for anyone with loss of balance.
- Make Copies of Keys
Loved ones who live nearby and trusted caregivers should have their own copies of the house key, so they can get into the house quickly in an emergency.
- Add Grab Bars and Handrails
These are useful in any place where you transition from sitting to standing, or must step over an obstacle (like the side of the tub).
Getting the Right Care
Why Consider In-Home Care?
In-home elder care can:
- Ease the transition to assisted living
- Keep loved ones in their homes longer
- Relieve mental and physical strain on family members
- Prepare meals and supervise medication
- Provide transportation around town
- Assist in bathing and dressing
- Keep loved ones company
Knowing When You Need Senior Home Care
Consider hiring a senior caregiver if your loved one experiences any of the following:
- Lapses in personal hygiene and grooming
- Impaired driving ability
- Forgetting appointments, birthdays, and other notable events
- A slowing down of thought processes
- Lapses in home chores
- Shifts in attitude
- Decreased participation in hobbies or socializing
- Trouble handling finances
- Becoming lost easily
- A serious illness
Finding the Right Caregiver
There are two routes to finding senior care: hire a caregiver through an agency, or hire one on your own as your household employee.
Consider These Questions
- Will this caregiver be my household employee?
If your caregiver isn’t on an agency’s payroll, that person is your household employee. You must comply with annual payroll tax filings, payments, and labor laws.
- Is this caregiver credentialed?
Look for experience, CPR and First Aid certification, and any state-required licenses.
- Is this caregiver experienced?
Check references, and look for ample previous senior caregiving experience.
- Has this caregiver passed a background check?
Don’t skip this step! Background checks help keep your family safe, and provide additional safety assurance.
- Has the care recipient met the caregiver?
If you’re seeking care for a relative, give your loved one the opportunity to meet the caregiver, to ensure a good match before hiring.
- What will be the terms of employment?
- Put a clear contract in place
- Define hours and duties in writing
- Discuss compensation, benefits, and transportation before hiring