America’s seniors and senior service providers throughout the country will join to celebrate the Annual National Aging in Place Week from October 12-20, 2015. National Aging in Place Week is an annual effort to expand awareness of the Aging in Place movement and the availability of the means for seniors to remain in their homes for as long as they would like.
By 2030, seniors will reach a projected 19% of our population, or 72 million Americans over the age of 65. This is what the American Geriatrics Society is calling the silver tsunami – an enormous wave of Americans living well into their 80’s and 90’s with few willing or able to care for themselves.
Given the choice, most seniors prefer to continue living in their own homes, also known as “aging in place”, remaining independent without intervention from others. This population is the fastest growing group in North America, and also at the highest risk for needing care. Medical science is preventing early sudden deaths, which means elders are living longer with impaired health and greater risk of needing long-term care. Unfortunately, many lose the ability to function on their own and require additional help in the home.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services projections estimate that 70 percent of Americans who reach the age of 65 will need some form of long-term care in their lives for an average of three years. With the aging population come important social and public policy questions about preparing for and providing quality long-term care.
Why Aging in Place
A significant concern as people grow older is that they may have to leave their home. This would mean leaving behind a comfortable setting familiar community and many memories. In addition a certain amount of control is lost when one leaves home. This “control” provides the underpinning to our feelings of dignity, quality of life and independence. One’s home is a strong element in that sense of security.
Most American seniors desire to stay in their homes for the rest of their lives. In fact an AARP survey found this number to be greater than 80% of seniors. This “stay at home” approach is also known as “Aging in Place” Several reasons are cited for this strong Aging in Place preference. These include:
- Comfortable Environment
- Feelings of Independence
- Convenience to Services
- Safety and Security
- Proximity to Family
Often seniors will not admit or recognize the fact that they are unable to do the same things that they used to. It’s hard to imagine that a self-reliant parent may someday reach a point where they will have to alter their lifestyle because of aging. Aging denial very often creates serious problems for the individual and for those around them. Getting older is nothing to be ashamed of, not preparing for old age is.
Aging parents are always quick to respond that they don’t need any help and adult children find themselves in a role reversal when the parent is now the child. Now it’s the child’s turn to arrange meals, pay bills, help with bathing
“Aging in place” successfully requires planning in order to accommodate physical, mental, and psychological changes that may accompany aging. It’s important to educate yourself about home and community based services that are available to make independent living possible. The National Aging in Place Council (NAIPC) is an association of service providers in your town who are dedicated to helping aging persons have a healthy and comfortable life at home.
4 Seasons Home Care is proud to be a member of the Atlanta Chapter of NAIPC and joins together with
our community to raise awareness of important issues and develop solutions to the impending crisis in housing, healthcare and costs for our growing senior population.
For more information about Aging in Place and 4 Seasons Home Care hourly, 12 hour home care and 24 hour live-in care,
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