Has your elderly loved one clearly expressed that she wants to continue to live in her home, even if she is by herself? It can be hard as a caregiver to support that choice as you worry about loneliness, injury, and the risk of being taken advantage of. You might worry about all of the things that could go wrong. More and more seniors desire to live in their homes for as long as possible. The great news is that many can because of the help of family and friends or having an in-home care team come to the home to help with chores or tasks that they struggle to do on their own. An in-home care team can ensure that your loved one not only stays connected but also can keep her home in good shape and make it to all of her appointments.
If you can help your loved one find a way to stay in her home, there are four key benefits she will find herself blessed with by staying home. You might find yourself benefiting from these as well.
Improved mental health. Being in familiar surroundings creates a sense of comfort and stability. If your loved one is having a bad day, she can find peace in a long-loved garden in the backyard, or the family photos that adorn her walls. There’s nothing more calming than lying down in her familiar bed each night with her favorite pillows and the sounds of her home that she knows so well. All of these positive emotions tied to her surroundings lead to better mental health.
Less anxiety. It’s stressful moving to a new place where you don’t know anyone and the walls don’t hold your favorite paintings. Your loved one will miss the things she’ll either need to sell or give away before she moves and while an old chipped coffee cup may not seem like much, it might hold memories that comfort her and help reduce anxious thoughts.
Increased peace. One of the hardest things about moving into a care facility is the thought that this will be the last place they’ll live. While all seniors understand that they won’t live forever, the finality of moving into a cold, sterile new place can cause them to lose their inner peace. Staying home with their favorite blankets, getting to say good morning to the mail delivery person, and even cleaning that old toilet, can bring a peace of stability in a world that can be quite chaotic.
Improved self-worth. There is pride that can be achieved in taking care of their own home. Even if they need a bit of help from an in-home care team, they are still the ones making the decisions about how to maintain their home, and that reminds them that they are worthy and able to make such decisions. Taking away too many decision-making abilities from a person diminishes their self-worth.
Aging in place (seniors staying in their homes) can be the best option for many seniors.