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Aging in Place: Bringing Help to Your Home

September 16, 2019

While NolaBoomers.com is under construction, our articles can be found here on our sister site, Nola Family. 

“…but what happens when they can no longer safely remain at home?”

Not aging isn’t an option, but one Northshore retirement community is about to offer more options for more comfortable aging.

As industry analysts have been predicting for years, what if our healthcare system really is about to be inundated and overwhelmed by Baby Boomers? According to Senior Living, between now and 2030, 10,000 Boomers are turning 65 each day. With this magnitude of new seniors entering the system, what happens to the existing seniors already in the system?

Can our current infrastructure handle the load? Do we have enough retirement communities to house the approaching masses? And what happens when these Boomers become ill or can no longer take care of themselves? Do we have enough hospitals, skilled nursing, assisted living, or memory care facilities to accommodate them? These are all questions healthcare organizations, Boomers, senior citizens, and the adult children of aging parents should be asking themselves.

It’s a fact that seniors today are more active and living longer healthier lives, but according to San Francisco-based On Lok, a family of nonprofit organizations for seniors and their families, getting older today looks very different than it did 15 or 30 years ago. Many seniors are choosing to age in their homes and communities, but what happens when they can no longer safely remain at home?

Uncertainties and Options

“What about those seniors who don’t require assisted living or skilled nursing…”

Are there solutions out there? The answer is yes and no. Yes, contingent on how dependent or independent a senior may be, their activity level, or their cognizance. There are existing types of traditional facilities as mentioned above to cater to their needs, but are there enough of them? If predictions are right, the answer is probably no.

What about those seniors who don’t require assisted living or skilled nursing and simply wish to age in place surrounded by the things and people they love? According to AARP, nearly 90 percent of homeowners approaching retirement want to stay in their home as they age. Many of those seniors are independent in their activities of daily living, but might not be independent enough to care for or maintain their household long-term. And what about those who might like to move into a retirement community, but who can’t afford costs? Finding alternative solutions can be difficult.

One option might be small adult residential care communities, which are popping up all over the country. These Level 1-licensed residential structures house two to eight senior residents with each having their own bedroom and bathroom and require no entrance fees. Level 2 providers can house up to 16 residents. There are no entrance fees and reasonable monthly rates cover all room and board, which makes this one a desirable option.

At Your Service

“Additionally, this new division will also offer personal assistants for those who are more active and independent…”

Some senior care organizations have smartly identified seniors who wish to remain in their homes as one of the most underserved segments in the entire senior care market. One such organization is the Christwood Retirement Community on the Northshore. In November, it will launch a new division called At Your Service by Christwood catering specifically to this segment, providing an array of in-home and on-campus services for non-Christwood residents, designed to help seniors who wish to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.

Starting in November, At Your Service by Christwood will start by serving St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington Parishes. Their services will include caring companion care for those who desire or need assistance with their activities of daily living, accessible transportation, help with preparing meals, light cleaning, personal laundry, and more.

Additionally, this new division will also offer personal assistants for those who are more active and independent, but who would like someone to assist them with things like scheduling of appointments, planning social outings, light household chores, and home organization.

In-home repairs is just one of the services that At Your Service will offer. Photo provided by Christwood.

A Step Further

“But can seniors feel safe having unknown strangers in their home?”

Though the above-mentioned services are not new concepts and have been available for quite some time, At Your Service by Christwood is taking this one step further. Up to 9,000 people each day will potentially need assistance maintaining their home at one time or another. To address these needs, At Your Service will also offer general home maintenance such as gutter cleaning, pressure washing, changing of A/C filters, light bulbs, and smoke detector batteries. Additionally, licensed electricians, plumbers, HVAC maintenance, carpenters, and computer technology services will be available.

But can seniors feel safe having unknown strangers in their home? Some organizations have tried this business model by relying on contractors, who were in most cases not reasonably vetted, unreliable, and expensive. But At Your Service will employ every service provider as a Christwood employee, fully vetted through drug testing and background checks, assuring that seniors can trust the people serving them.

Remaining at Home

“At Your Service is addressing this with several lifestyle and social wellness services.”

And lastly, according to research by the Elder Care Alliance, social support can play a significant role in overall health as people age. Socialization with others can boost quality of life, including both physical and mental health.

In fact, many seniors who choose to remain at home are being cared for by their adult children or other family members. Many of these caregivers are also responsible for taking care of their own families. This can sometimes be an overwhelming task, and from time to time, they may need a break to manage their own households.

At Your Service is addressing this with several lifestyle and social wellness services. The first being an adult day stay program offering engaging daily activities to encourage and enhance a senior’s personal and spiritual wellness. Furthermore, we are inviting seniors to attend Christwood sponsored social events and travel opportunities and can provide transportation to and from the campus if needed.

Many services currently exist in our community, but much more is needed if we are going to successfully care for the health and wellness of our rapidly growing senior community. To learn more about At Your Service, call 985.292.1221.

 

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