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Staying in your own home as you age

For many people, home is where the heart is. It’s no surprise that most of us want to stay there. It’s where we often feel most safe and comfortable. As we age, being surrounded by memories and a sense of familiarity can be invaluable.

Unfortunately, staying in your own home may not be the safest option for some people. You and your loved ones will need to consider medical needs and changing physical abilities as other living options may be more suitable.

Despite this, there are many advantages to staying in your own home if it’s safe to do so. Read our guide to explore the different benefits of ageing in place and what support can be implemented to assist this.

A popular form of support that can help you or your loved one stay at home for longer is Home Care. In fact, almost one million people in the UK currently receive care in their own homes.1 At Alina Homecare, our dedicated Carers are trained and ready to support you or your loved one to stay at home for as long as you choose. To learn more about how our services can help you, request our Home Care brochure.

elderly lady who is staying in their own home

Why choose to stay at home?

There are many reasons people choose to remain at home in their senior years. One of the main reasons is that home is where most people feel comfortable and secure. It’s often filled with cherished memories and your own personal comforts. It can be upsetting to leave these behind.

Staying in your own home is typically the preferred choice over moving to a residential home or another care facility for many older adults. An obvious reason for this is leaving friends and neighbours. This is particularly the case if you or your loved one live at home with a partner.

Unfortunately, a large number of care homes don’t offer double bedroom accommodation for couples. This can result in the loss of security and comfort that has been felt for years. For many, it can feel overwhelming. Factor in the added stress and upheaval of moving, leaving home can be challenging. Many elderly adults say they don’t enjoy change therefore this could take a toll on your or your loved one’s mental wellbeing.

With almost three quarters of over 75s in the UK stating they’d rather stay at home than move to a care facility, there is an increasing number of services available to assist this.2

Benefits of staying in your own home

Being able to live independently and at your own pace can be invaluable. A sense of normality can be essential when your or your loved one’s needs or situation changes. Staying in your own home can bring a range of benefits to both physical health and mental wellbeing. Here are some benefits:

Continue Routines

We all have our daily routines we know and love. Many people find comfort in being able to stick to their usual routines, especially the elderly. This is because carrying out daily activities such as having breakfast at a certain time or watching your favourite show in the evening can bring a feeling of normality and independence.

However, this can be difficult to maintain in a care facility. This is because they often have their own daily routines at certain times which all residents are encouraged to follow. As a result, you or your loved one may not be able to decide how or when different aspects of usual routines are carried out. Staying in your own home means you or your loved one can continue daily routines so as little as possible changes.

Increased Comfort

Drinking out of your treasured mug, sitting in your armchair or enjoying your favourite home cooked meal. Everyone has their own personal comforts which can make living at home their preferred choice. The thought of leaving home filled with these comforts can be unsettling at the best of times.

As people get older, staying at home surrounded by comforts and cherished memories can really help. Moving to a care facility means you or your loved one may experience discomfort from leaving personal possessions which could negatively impact mental wellbeing. Staying in your own home means you or your loved one can continue to live in a familiar environment with your most loved belongings.

Safer Environment

Although there are some benefits of a care facility regarding safety, such as there being staff available to provide care whenever it’s needed, it may not always be the safest option. Most people know the layout of their furniture within their own home. Because of this, it means you or your loved one are less likely to bump into things or fall, decreasing the chance of injury.

Living at home means you or your loved one are less likely to be exposed to illnesses and diseases. As you age, your immune system becomes weaker making you more vulnerable. In a care facility, you or your loved one will constantly encounter other residents, different members of staff and resident’s visitors which makes staying at home sometimes the safer option.

Continue Hobbies

Hobbies are a great way to decrease boredom and try new things. Although many can be enjoyed in a care facility such as knitting or sudoku, there are some that can’t.

Often, you or your loved one may not be allowed to leave the facility to enjoy a hobby or attend a club. This could lead to stress and boredom as giving up a loved hobby could impact mental wellbeing. Staying in your own home means you or your loved one can continue different hobbies.

If you or your loved one decide to receive Home Care, we can provide support so that hobbies can be continued. As part of our Companion Care, our Carers can join in with hobbies or take you or your loved one to local clubs.

Keep Your Pets

Many elderly people enjoy the company of a pet, most commonly a cat or dog. Pets can bring the elderly a wide range of benefits such as reducing loneliness, boredom and encouraging regular exercise. However, up to 71% of care facilities don’t allow residents to bring their pets meaning over two million people in the UK have had to surrender their pets or sadly put them to sleep.3

This can bring a great amount of emotional stress and guilt to you or your loved one. Ageing in place at home means you or your loved one can continue to keep beloved family pets. If you choose to receive Care at Home, many providers can also walk and feed pets.

Maintain Independence

Ageing in place means that you or your loved one can continue to live a more independent lifestyle. As many people get older, they often feel as though they are more dependent on others. Choosing to stay in your own home means you or your loved one can preserve your independence for as long as possible.

In care facilities, there is usually a set time for residents to wake up, have meals and go to bed in the evening. Choosing to stay at home means you or your loved one can decide what you would like to do and when. Having this choice can bring a much needed feeling of control.

See Friends & Family

Not being able to see your friends and family when you choose can lead to feelings of loneliness or isolation. Often, residential homes or other care facilities have scheduled visiting hours meaning loved ones can only visit at certain times of day. Socialising with loved ones can bring a great deal of comfort and can positively impact your or your loved one’s emotional wellbeing.

Staying in your own home means that friends and family can visit whenever they choose. This can also benefit them as they can visit when they are able to without having to worry about other responsibilities or prior commitments.

What to do to help you stay in your own home

Many people wish to age in place but unfortunately, this may not always be the safest option. Luckily, there are different ways you or your loved one can get support to stay at home for as long as possible. Here are some examples:

Home adaptations

Home adaptations are changes you make to your home to make it easier and safer to carry out different activities and move around. Without these adaptations, completing daily tasks around the home may be more challenging. Many elderly people choose to implement adaptations to their homes as this enables them to live more independently and safely. If you or your loved one has reduced mobility or are at risk of having a fall, home adaptations can be a great option.

There are many ways in which you or your loved one can adapt your home. Among the most common adaptations include:

  • Putting in a banister or stairlift to make going up or down the stairs easier
  • Using motion sensor lights so that when you or your loved one enters a room a light comes on automatically
  • Widening door frames so they’re easier to walk or push a wheelchair through
  • Using specialist chairs or beds that can rise, making them less difficult to get out of
  • Inserting a bath lift to minimise the risk of slipping

In addition to these, there are many household items you or your loved one can choose, such as:

  • A foot cleaning bathmat or long handled sponge to avoid bending down to wash
  • A kettle tipper to minimise the risk of spilling hot water
  • Using wide handled cutlery or risen plates to reduce the likeliness of spilling food
  • Using a robot vacuum to clean carpets

If you or your loved one are considering adapting the home, your local authority may cover the cost. Usually, someone will visit the home to do an assessment and talk through any requirements. They’ll then propose a solution and if the cost is under £1,000, it should be covered by your local authority. If the cost is more than this, you may be eligible to receive a grant.4

Delivery services

With the advancement of technology, you’re now able to order most things online and have them delivered straight to your door. This is especially beneficial for the elderly as it takes away the task of carrying heavy shopping bags, especially if driving is no longer possible.  

If you or your loved one struggles with reduced mobility, going to shops to pick up groceries can be especially challenging. This is particularly the case if they can’t drive or find it difficult to walk for a long period of time. Most supermarkets now offer home delivery meaning you or your loved one can get your groceries delivered straight to your door. This promotes independence as you or your loved one therefore doesn’t have to depend on other people to pick up your food shop.

If cooking is becoming increasingly difficult or if you or your loved one struggle to make nutritious meals, a home meal delivery service may be the right solution. Often called Meals on Wheels, either hot, chilled or frozen meals can be delivered straight to your or your loved one’s door. Following an assessment to understand any dietary needs or requirements, you or your loved one can then begin to receive freshly prepared meals when you choose.

If you or your loved one would benefit from having groceries delivered and balanced meals provided, why not consider Home Care? Many Home Care providers offer meal preparation and a lot of the time, Care Workers can pick up groceries for you or your loved one. At Alina Homecare, among a wide range of other tasks, our dedicated Care Workers can ensure you or your loved one receives proper meals if required. To learn more, contact your local Alina Homecare Team today.

Elderly home monitoring

Using an elderly home monitoring system can be the answer to help you or your loved one remain at home. There are many different home monitoring systems you can choose from, each with different functions and features that allow different things to be monitored. This can include movement, heart rate and temperature.

The primary aim of an elderly monitoring system is to provide peace of mind for loved ones. They allow you to check on the person being monitored to ensure that they are safe and well. Many monitoring systems also come with an alarm that can detect a fall or can be manually set off in the case of an emergency. To learn more about how you can monitor loved ones, read our guide.

Staying in your own home with Home Care

Throughout the UK, many people choose to receive Home Care to enable them or their loved ones to stay at home for as long as possible. With the vast number of benefits there are to staying in your own home, many people choose not to move to a care facility whilst able to do so. However, living at home independently without professional support may not always be the best or safest option. If this is the case for you or your loved one, elderly Care at Home is a great solution. You can also consider living with elderly parents.

Typically, Home Care involves one or more Care Workers visiting you or your loved one and provide support within the home. Home Care is a broad term and can involve many different aspects depending on your or your loved one’s needs. This can include help at the start or the end of each day, companionship, general housekeeping and much more.

There are two types of Home Care which differ in the amount of support provided. The most suitable choice is the one that meets your or your loved one’s care needs. These are:

Why choose Alina Homecare?

At Alina Homecare, we pride ourselves on the high quality standard of care we provide to our clients. Our dedicated Care Workers all receive excellent training through our exclusive Academy so they know how to keep you or your loved one safe and as comfortable as possible. They’re there to not only provide physical support around the home but also companionship to support mental wellbeing if needed.

When you contact us, we will meet with you and your loved one in person to discuss your needs and preferences. We will then create a comprehensive care plan that’s bespoke to you or your loved one. The amount of care needed can change, which is why we continuously review care plans so they always meet our client’s needs.

All our services are fully regulated and are inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. We have also partnered with Birdie, an innovative care technology, so you can track your loved one’s care with their consent using the app. as it’s happening. We do this so that you and your loved ones have added reassurance as we’re confident that quality assured care is always provided.

To learn more about the services we offer and how we can help, contact your local Alina Homecare Team today.

References

1. Office for National Statistics, “Who is paying for their own community care?“, Reviewed 16 August 2023

3. The Live-in Care Hub, “Better at Home“, Reviewed 16 August 2023

4. NHS, “Home adaptations“, Reviewed 16 August 2023