The value of growing old within the comfort of your own home is an essential factor in determining just how happy and worthwhile the final years of retirement are.
1. It’s where our loved one feel most comfortable
Some of our loved ones have already spent several decades in their current home, neighborhood, and the routines they have established there.
There is a cost associated with uprooting something like at a late stage in life. For many, the thought of leaving home can be daunting, but most importantly, not necessary.
2. Ensuring independence
While independence carries a different meaning for everyone, living at home allows our loved ones to carry on according to their own wishes.
The freedom they have within their own home is quite different from what they would experience in nursing homes. Seniors in nursing homes lose a lot of their independence when having to adapt to the routines that are put in place by the facility managers.
3. They lead longer and happier lives
A study by academics from Newcastle University found that we could revert the acceleration of adult decline with simple coaching and prevention — that the green curve, giving several healthier years at home and avoiding hospitalisation and its associated costs. Society has the means to slow aging and fulfill its promise of independent living.
By helping our loved ones remain in their home and be independent, their wellbeing, happiness, and relationships strengthen and grow.
4. It’s the more cost-efficient solution
Whether you live in a country that has generous social care funding or not.
It allows adults to live longer and healthier lives when they remain in their own homes. Geriatricians say that by merely coaching adults while living at home through old age, to take the necessary preventative steps in avoiding accidents, we could lower emergency rushes to the hospitals by 20%. Emergencies such as falls tend to be what set of a vicious cycle that can reduce the average life expectancy of an older adult.
5. it’s possible: there is technology out there that can make it
Sensors have become inexpensive to produce; they are now ubiquitous, and there are several alternatives out there to harness their power in at-home care. Alternatively, devices such as our phones can also be used to draw up reports on personal care, wellness, risks, or a decline in health.
Technology should be used to enhance care, not replace it. There is still a long way to go in developing preventative wellness services and product for seniors rather than those reporting on the accidents after the fact.
6. ..and frankly - we don’t have the capacity not to
Over the next decade, the so-called baby boomer generation will be reaching their 80s. At this age, the needs for long-term physical and medical support exceeds 50% of this same population.
No country in the World currently has the capacity in nursing homes to tackle this volume of demand; whether they rely on public or private funds or both. The choice of looking for alternatives to assisted living facilities is not a luxury we have.
Preferences vary, and it might not be right for everyone!
Some seniors may prefer leaving their home if they once shared it with a partner they’ve since lost. Alternatively, they may be tired of having to care for a home. Some may want to feel more secure, knowing that physical assistance is in the next room.
There are also several middle-ground solutions out there too that are worth considering.
Assisted living or senior living
In the US, there is a whole industry that develops assisted living or senior living. Here, the seniors voluntarily move to managed properties that are only available to other seniors and that have a handful of services designed for them such as daily activities.
These are solutions that are typically more expensive; by consequence, they are sadly not available to everyone.
Due to higher residential inertia amongst the elderly, it is not uncommon to find naturally occurring age-homogeneous neighbourhoods and communities.
Structures such as these can present opportunities for both the private and public sector. As greater visibility into their vulnerabilities makes it easier to identify and respond to their unmet needs1.
The future of caregiving is at home
At Mon Tonton, we believe that with the right technology, we can protect our loved ones ability to age at home.
We strive to develop solutions that connect everyone involved in the circle of care for a collective peace of mind. Families can coordinate, interact, and follow their elderly parents’ health and wellbeing, identifying and being notified of any issues such as a fall, or absence.
Reach out to us to learn more about the products and services we are developing.
From The Conversation: “Should older Americans live in places segregated from the young?” ↩