With all of the housing options open to seniors today, “aging in place” is one that is growing in popularity. Instead of community housing arrangements many seniors are choosing to stay in their own homes as they journey into their golden years. To do this safely takes careful planning. It is a good idea that your plan includes some of the convenient and sophisticated services that are available to older adults today. Here we will take a look at several aging in place services that we hope you will find helpful.
Important disclaimer: This article aims to show the many benefits to older adults who choose to age in place in the comfort of their homes. This may not be the safest choice for some individuals. Consult with your doctor or physical therapist for advice concerning your specific needs and condition to see if aging in place is right for you.
Types of aging in place services
After discussing aging in place with your doctor and if it is a good option for you, there are several services available to help with daily living? These services are “non-medical” and address several areas concerning senior independent living.
Non-medical home care for seniors covers these primary areas of need:
- Help to sit and stand safely
- Walking assistance and supervision: help with balance, make sure there are no tripping hazards in the pathway and ready to assist if an unexpected fall occurs
- Seniors who need to be accompanied to appointments, or who need help running errands
- Help to ensure exercise and medications are taken at the proper times
- Help with bathing and dressing
- Email and phone call assistance
- Companionship and socialization (playing games and watching movies)
- Alzheimer’s and dementia care
- Home safety and fall prevention assessment with home modification suggestions
- Seniors who need temporary support following surgery or an injury
- Light housekeeping assistance:
(meal preparation, dusting, vacuuming, taking out the garbage, bring in the mail, letting the dog out, and laundry)
With so many services to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. An older person may only require help once a month or less, while others might need more regular support in order to stay living safely and independently at home. So it’s important to make a plan of care that is just right for you. So we hope that this list is a start to get you thinking about your needs and to better discuss this with your doctor.
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Benefits of using senior home care services
If approved by your doctor, using home care services can enable an elderly person to stay in the comfort and familiarity of their own home or if you have decided to move into the granny pod, avoiding costly institutional facility costs. Also continuing to live in your own home keeps many of the friendships and social supports that it took years for you to build. Here are some potential benefits of aging in place:
- Near to family and friends
- Familiar neighbors
- Church membership and community groups
- Lower in cost than more expensive alternatives
There are many benefits to continuing these social relationships that you have built over the years. This is one of the main reasons to consider aging in place.
Keeping these valuable social ties enrich the lives of older adults as the Mayo Clinic has found. (1)
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Ways to pay for senior in-home services
There are different ways to pay for senior in-home services. Your options may vary depending on what services you need and where you live.
Your options fall primarily into one of two buckets, private pay or government assisted. Private pay is a person’s own funds that they use for the cost of personal services such as transportation and meals while public assistance may be granted by state governments based on factors like income level and the care that is needed.
Here are 6 options that may help you with these costs.
A) Private Pay
- Long Term Care Insurance (Call and ask your insurance what in-home services are covered.)
- Medicare Advantage or Medicare Replacement (PDF) (2)
- Out-of-Pocket from personal income and savings
B) Government Assistance
- Medicaid – Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC-LTC | Florida Only)
- Veteran’s Aid & Attendance (3)
- Older Americans Act – Federally Funded Program (OAA)
Older Americans Act
Through the Older Americans Act, the United States government helps seniors live independently by providing them with critical needed services. Services like meals, job training, senior centers and more all help keep our nation’s elders healthy and independent as they grow older.
You can read more at the National Council of Aging.
How to find a home care provider
When it comes to finding a senior home care provider, you can’t just settle for the first option that pops up in Google. It’s important to do some research before deciding on an agency or individual from which you or your loved one will be receiving in home care services. Don’t worry if this seems like a long and burdensome list. You have the opportunity to download a free checklist below.
- Make a list of your needs and show it to your doctor to make sure that it is complete
- Consider such services as respite care, transportation, medication management, help dressing and bathing
- Ask your doctor, family, or friends if they can recommend a home care provider
- Research reviews of potential providers on social media sites like Yelp or Google Reviews
- Research in-home senior care providers to see if they provide the services that you need
- Call the provider and ask for references and contact them
- Find out how much they charge per hour or day, and see if it is affordable for you
- Ask how they vet their caregivers and see if they do background checks and drug testing
- Ask about their cancellation policy – some companies will charge fees if you cancel after signing up with them
- Are they adequately staffed so that they can meet your needs?
- Check whether they have been in business long enough to be established as a reputable company
- How many hours of service do you need per week? Can they accommodate that?
- Consider if you need a live-in caregiver or just someone to help with tasks like cooking and cleaning
- Find out what is included in the service and what isn’t included with each company
- Ask about qualifications, training, experience, certifications, and insurance coverage
- Visit their office in person to start an introductory discussion before deciding
- Ask them “What would happen if I needed assistance during hours when there was no staff?”
- Ask “How do I know who will be coming into my home?”
- Also ask them what happens if one of their employees becomes sick and cannot come into work
- Ask about the company’s policies and procedures
- Get a written contract that includes all the information you discussed, including rates, hours, and services to be provided
- Make sure it’s a good fit for both the caregiver and the senior living in place before signing anything!
It can be difficult to find the right provider that will take care of you and your loved ones, but there are steps that you can take to make the process easier and to ensure that you have all your needs covered. Looking into a company’s experience and reputation can go a long way to set yourself up for success. We hope this has helped clear up some of your questions and we wish you the best as you search for an affordable caregiver!
Find more For At Home on our senior resources page.
It’s important to plan for the future and not just think about it. When you find a home care provider, they will work with your family on what services are needed now or in the near future so that when the time comes, everything is set up and ready to go. Don’t wait until there’s an emergency to figure out where help may be found – do some research today!
- Mayo Clinic, Healthy Lifestyle – Adult Health, “Friendships: Enrich your life and improve your health” Accessed July 19, 2021.
- Medicare, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “Understanding Medicare Advantage Plans” Accessed July 19, 2021.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “VA Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound allowance” Accessed July 19, 2021.
- National Council on Aging, Older Americans Act, “Older Americans Act for Advocates” Accessed July 19, 2021.