Seniors, until relatively recently, might not have considered the possibility of aging in place, meaning they stay in their homes. Instead, there was often the automatic assumption that older people would move in with family or they would go to an assisted living community or nursing home.
This isn’t inherently true anymore. More seniors and their families are seeing the benefits of aging in place.
There are still programs where people can receive home care and services, but they remain in an environment that’s familiar and comfortable for them.
Technology has made a lot of this possible even though just a decade ago, it might not have been.
If you’re a senior and you hope to age in your home and remain independent, or you’re helping a loved one plan for their future, understanding the available technology can help you figure out the best strategy.
The Benefits of Aging in Place
There’s a reason staying in your home is becoming the preferred option for so many Americans.
First, you can stay in a place that’s comfortable and familiar for you. Moving can be physically and mentally stressful. For older people, it can cause more confusion, and it can also lead to mental health symptoms like depression.
When you’re in your home, even if you need some help along the way, you can also retain your sense of independence and empowerment. That’s important, and it’s key for aging with dignity and continuing to enjoy a good quality of life.
Financially, it can also make more sense. Assisted living and nursing facilities can be incredibly expensive. There are programs that can cover some of the costs of in-home care, which is almost always going to be less expensive than out-of-the-home options.
If you have grandchildren and family members who come visit you often, you might also want them to have a home where they come to and make memories rather than visiting you in an impersonal place.
By Karen Smith, head of sales and marketing, MePACS.
People are living longer and fuller lives thanks to advancements in public health, nutrition, sanitation and medicine in the last 100 years. And now, thanks to innovative technology, there are a number of products available that are allowing people to age at home.
People over the age of 60 areestimated to account for one in six people globally by the year 2030, and by the middle of the century it’ll reach one in every five people. The world is facing an ageing population crisis and that will bring strain on healthcare and aged care facilities.
However, the coronavirus pandemic has shown that there is a significant distrust in the aged-care industry. Recently,an Australian survey showed that only 15% of locals aged between 60 and 80 trust the aged care industry. There has also been a significant increase in people considering in-home aged care services for people between 50 and 70 years old in Australia.
During the pandemic, MePACS has seen a 60% increase in demand for personal alarms and smartwatches for clients. Technology is allowing seniors to live a more independent life at home while continuing to do the things they love without fear.
Living an independent life
Most developed countries are facing an ageing population. In the US,AARP Research found 76% of Americans aged 50 and older would prefer to live at home as they age. In Australia it’s a similar story. ABureau of Statistics 2015 survey found that 94.8% of Australians aged 65 and over are living in households and a quarter of older adults live alone.
While many older adults would prefer to live at home, it’s not always possible especially for those who have limited mobility and find performing regular household tasks difficult. Luckily, technology has improved dramatically so that household tasks can be automated, such as smart fridges that can sense when groceries are running low. There are virtual assistants, such as Google Home or Amazon Echo which can perform tasks using voice commands.