Aging In Place

The coronavirus pandemic has put a profound emphasis on the options for seniors who want to age in place. While the rates of COVID 19 transmissions may be diminishing with the vaccine roll out, home care agencies such as Avila continue to see an increase in the demand for services, which allow seniors to thrive in the homes they love. Customized care with dignity, while allowing full access to family members and loved ones without any restrictions, have been among the priorities recently expressed by Avila’s clients.

There are practical steps that can be taken to ensure that seniors feel comfortable and safe in their own homes if they make the decision to age in place. The first step is to evaluate the home. AARP provides a comprehensive guide to aging in place, called “The AARP Home Fit Guide” which includes information and tips to keep your home in top form for comfort, safety, and livability.

Seniors often hesitate to make necessary changes, as they are concerned that adjustments will alter the character and/or value of their home, or that it’s going to look like a hospital. There are many ways to have modifications blend into the decor, and most changes are reversible if no longer needed. The AARP says, “Those who aim for more extensive and expensive remodeling can locate a certified aging-in-place specialist (CAPS).” These specialists are certified by the National Association of Home Builders and can “give homeowners some assurance that those hired have knowledge about the challenges that older clients can face.”

One example of a category of evaluation is assessing mobility requirements. Subsequent adjustments that are quick and easy might include placing a waterproof seat in the shower, removing throw rugs, or even replacing all doorknobs with lever handles- all of which can make a big impact, and the costs are relatively minimal.

Another category of assessment is to address health and long-term care needs. Does the senior have any major or minor health risks that need to be addressed? This is where home care agencies like Avila Home Care can come in to help. Avila serves the greater Baltimore metropolitan area, offering care to seniors in whatever setting they call home. Avila diligently matches each client with a Caregiver who is best suited to their needs based upon a free in-home assessment by one of Avila’s experienced nurses, and then develops a customized care plan for each client. These care plans can be flexible according to the needs of the individual, so whether the senior requires a few hours of care per week, or 24/7 care, Avila can deliver services to meet those specific needs. The son of an Avila client shares, “Avila sends Caregivers who are well-trained and friendly, and having their 24-hour care takes the burden off of our family. Avila is very responsive and they do everything they say they are going to do- we give them our highest recommendation!”

The Maryland Department of Aging (MDoA) website is also a great resource aimed at assisting older Marylanders who are aging in place with a range of services and sources of information, such as how to avoid financial exploitation, where to receive low-cost meal services, and even how to receive re-used durable medical equipment that has been sanitized and inspected for little to no cost.

Consistent and open communication with family members, professional caregivers and health care providers is essential while navigating the path to comfortably and safely aging in place. Having conversations about what to expect and any concerns (whether financial or even emotional) will keep everyone on the same page and informed. “I don’t have to worry with Avila- I can count on them! They do a great job with communication, and their Caregivers are always top notch,” says Gary, the son of an Avila client. Aging in place is about comfort and stability, and although these conversations can sometimes be difficult, open discussions at the start can be beneficial in the long run. Danny O’Brien, Avila Home Care’s Founder and CEO shares some insight on how to approach these conversations in the video, What if My Loved One is Resistant to Home Care? on Vimeo.

Having a home care agency such as Avila take care of the basic needs of a loved one eases the burden of family members. Aging in place doesn’t have to be a difficult process, and can be incredibly beneficial for seniors and their families. Resources and support systems are available and can make the transition smooth and seamless. Reach out to Avila Home Care today to learn more about how to be matched with a Caregiver, and thrive in the place you call home.

 

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