Staying independent at home, a family decision

Photo by Pavan Trikutam / Unsplash

Let's begin with a familiar scenario, one you might be in or a friend has experienced recently:  your mom is getting on in age and is living alone in her own home. Certain things are slipping- simple things like forgetting about a visit or appointment to that one time the stove was left on.  Now that was a bit of a scare!

It appears that generally speaking, mom is enjoying living in a familiar place and has expressed a desire to stay there as long as possible. Your first concern is her safety, and avoiding things like isolation or inability to access the larger community and ensuring the house is maintained.  

It's a scenario that is faced by many seniors living in Canada. Stats show in 2016 that there were 5,935,635 seniors in Canada, and that "93.2% of seniors lived in private dwellings (house, apartment or moveable dwelling) while 6.8% lived in collective dwellings, such as residences for senior citizens, long-term care (LTC) facilities or health care related facilities." With our aging population, the total amount of seniors is even higher now and will increase until 2036.

The choice of whether mom should remain at home or make plans to transfer to an assisted-living situation will be made by family, and additionally there may be recommendations based on medical/home care assessments. This is when Paradigm Home Health Services can help navigate the options for mom.  

As an agency we can be a source of information.  JoAnne is available for a chat to explain some of the recommendations, and offer options that may not be immediately apparent. We can help by putting some of those options (companion care for isolation or community access, appointment companionship, assisting with daily living) into place to address the recommendations.  

The options that allow mom to stay living in her home are part of the movement called "Aging in Place", and we all will likely hear that term more and more. While it is a new-ish term for a situation that seniors have faced for decades, it also can be thought of as a innovative campaign, one where Alberta's society can focus on and develop new services to empower a senior to live independently in their home and community much longer.

While Lethbridge has a robust assisted and communal senior-focused facility scene, many have wait-lists and often families choose the first one available. It isn't always ideal yet it remains a viable and necessary option for many. But aging in place is becoming more of a feasible solution, with individualized supports chosen so mom can do the 70% of what she used to, is assisted where needed and her quality of life improves.

Paradigm will share any new developments and announcements within the aging in place movement and we are available to discuss if mom living at home is and will be viable in the future. While we can't offer all the supports that might be necessary and it's likely the health care system will need to be involved, it could be where your mom's future looks almost like the present and past:  happily living at home.

We invite you to call us at 403-394-1614 anytime during business hours!

Mike Maguire

Mike Maguire