The aging process is almost never an easy one. That’s especially true when senior adults reach the stage in life where living completely independent is no longer safe, but they adamantly want to avoid leaving their home and moving into assisted living facilities. The desire to remain in place is understandable – few people relish the thought of leaving their home behind them when they’re not feeling well. The good news is that while helping seniors age in place in Melbourne, FL, can be a tricky process, it is by no means an impossible one.
What does ‘aging in place’ mean?
Aging in place refers to keeping senior adults in their homes for as long as possible as opposed to relocating to assisted living facilities on the Space Coast. Helping seniors age in their homes with loved ones as their support network is hugely beneficial, allowing them to maintain their independence and autonomy for far longer than they’d be able to if they moved a facility. In fact, if the conditions are right, aging in place might be the best option available when it comes to allowing your loved ones the chance to age naturally and happily.
Helping Senior Adults Age in Place
For seniors to successfully age in place in Melbourne, Florida, here are a few steps loved ones can take to ensure they have proper support.
Hold a Meeting
The first step in helping someone age in place is to set up a meeting between everyone in the family and friend circle likely to be affected by caregiving efforts, including grandchildren and paid caregivers, if applicable. The purpose here is to discuss how caregiving as a community will work, including the senior adult’s needs and what meeting those needs will look like for everyone involved. Encourage questions and allow everyone to express their concerns and be heard as you lay the foundation for your loved one’s circle of care.
Talk with Doctors
It’s important to understand exactly what you might be facing as you move forward with the caregiving process. Speak with your loved one’s doctors and ask about their physical and cognitive health as well as their prognosis for the future. If they are ill with a condition which might rapidly decline or require specialized care on the Space Coast, that’s something that you should know as quickly as possible. Share your plan with the doctor(s) and ask for any recommendations or advice they might be able to give.
Learn Your Loved One’s Daily Routine
If the goal is to help your loved one age in place while keeping their daily routine as normal as possible, it’s a good idea to get a handle on what those everyday activities are. Take notes and make mention of even the smallest details. Does your loved one like a handful of almonds when they watch TV in the afternoon? Take that detail down. You want to understand what their ideal day looks like, so you have a better chance of replicating it.
Improve Home Safety
As senior adults age, their motor skills gradually begin to falter. This makes it harder to react if they begin to slip or slide, be that on the living room floor or in the bathtub. Take the time to walk through your loved one’s home and make safety modifications such as safety railings in the bathroom and doorknobs that can be opened simply by pushing on them rather than twisting them open. Even the smallest of things could equal a big quality of life improvement.
Helping a senior adult age in place isn’t always easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding. Take your time as you ease into the process and don’t be afraid to reach out to professionals in Melbourne, FL for help!