Aging in Place: A 5-Step Roadmap for Living at Home Safely


ComForCare Home Care Northern Colorado

For more information about the author, click to view their website: ComForCare Home Care Northern Colorado

Posted on

Jul 11, 2023


Colorado - Northern Colorado

If you are reaching retirement age or have a loved one 65+, you may have heard the term “aging in place.” Aging in place simply means that you stay at home as you grow older, rather than entering a senior living community or moving in with family members. Over 75% of older adults want to stay in their current homes. But to honor those wishes, it’s important to have a plan in place.

As people grow older, their needs change. Maintaining physical health, safety, personal care, and mental health may all require you to make adjustments and even seek a helping hand. Fortunately, services like in-home care are making it possible for more adults to stay at home for longer periods of time.

If you or a loved one is approaching their senior years, it’s important to put a plan in place now to ensure your preferences can be met safely. Let’s talk through the most important steps for making home a safe and healthy place to grow old.

Your Aging in Place Checklist: A Step-by-Step Guide

Whether you live alone, have a spouse that will soon need care, or are concerned about an aging parent, this list can help you plan ahead to ensure their safety and comfort.

Step 1: Assess the Kinds of Help You May Require

The first thing to consider is the types of care you or your loved one may be most likely to require in the near future. Some illnesses and long-term conditions can make getting around harder, such as diabetes or dementia. But even when medical care isn’t required, many seniors still need assistance with various other aspects of daily life.

In-home care services can help seniors with most of the support they need to stay in their own homes. With in-home care, you can add any of the services you need on a schedule of your choosing, including:

  • Personal care
  • Light housekeeping & chores
  • Meal preparation
  • Companion care
  • Transportation
  • Medication reminders & monitoring chronic conditions 

Step 2: Make a Plan for Monitoring Health Conditions

While home care services don’t typically include skilled nursing care, they can help you manage chronic diseases. Between visits to your doctor, an in-home caregiver can check in and provide extra peace of mind, preventing disease progression and coordinating further care if and when needs change.

With services like remote patient monitoring (RPM), even seniors who don’t yet need full-time assistance can get a helping hand managing and tracking conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and more. RPM devices can even detect falls when no one else is in the home, ensuring that if an accident does happen, you or your loved one will receive the right care as quickly as possible.

Step 3: Complete a Home Safety Assessment

Every home has its unique quirks and features that need to be considered when making a plan to age in place. Therefore, the earlier you can start reducing hazards and making modifications, the better. 

With a little pre-planning, making a home accessible for the elderly doesn’t have to happen all at once! We recommend starting before you need care and making at least one major modification per year to make your home an age-friendly place.

Safety Hazards to Watch For

  • Electrical cords in walkways
  • Cluttered rooms with too much furniture to navigate around
  • Loose rugs without tape or slip-resistant backings
  • Stairs without sturdy railing
  • Outdoor steps with loose stones or rotting wood

Recommended Aging-in-Place Home Modifications

  • Install grab bars and slip-resistant floor surfaces in bathrooms
  • Move the main bedroom to the first floor
  • Purchase kitchen appliances with safety features
  • Replace round door knobs with lever handles 
  • Ensure ample and easily accessible lighting throughout the home (consider voice-activated smart lighting)

ComForCare is available to help—our teams perform thorough in-home assessments to develop customized care plans and make home safety recommendations. For more information on how to reduce fall risks in the home, download our free guide!

Step 4: Start Prioritizing Health & Nutrition

Regular activity, a balanced diet, and stress management are all important components of maintaining an independent lifestyle, managing health conditions, and reducing your risk of injuries. If you haven’t started setting these healthy habits, now is the best time to start. After all, nutrition needs change after 65, so it’s important to understand what you’ll need to accomplish your health goals.

It’s also important to be realistic about your ability to cook meals for yourself, which may be affected by changes that come with age. In-home caregivers can develop a personalized nutrition plan and prepare meals, helping you stay healthier—and therefore live at home—longer. 

Step 5: Plan Ahead for Transportation & Social Connection

Staying connected to your community is extremely important, as isolation is one of the biggest risk factors for seniors living at home alone. Being able to go out to social events, make your doctor’s appointments, and reach local shopping areas for what you need is critical.

If your ability to drive is or becomes compromised, you need to understand what other options are available to you. For some, that could mean public transportation or getting rides from a loved one, but these options aren’t always realistic (or reliable) for everyone. 

If transportation or isolation is a concern, home care services can help. Whether you need regular assistance getting to appointments or just need a ride on an as-needed basis, our care services can be tailored to your unique preferences.

Learn More About Whether In-Home Care is Right for You

At ComForCare, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality senior care services in the comfort of our clients’ homes. Whether you need us for a few days each week or around the clock, our compassionate caregivers are ready to tailor services to you. Browse through our wealth of resources to learn more about the signs that it’s time for home care, how to talk about home care, and much more. Or contact your nearest location today to start a conversation!

Other Articles You May Like

Encouraging Volunteerism in Senior Care

Volunteerism is not just about giving time. Volunteering in senior care is about igniting a spark a spark of connection, joy, and purpose that enriches lives on both sides of the giving equation. Learn how you can ditch the ordinary and become an extraordinary force for good in the lives of seniors. This guide discusses the benefits of volunteerism for seniors and ways caregivers can help them get involved in community service.Benefits of Volunteerism for SeniorsVolunteering can greatly boost a senior's self-esteem. It gives them a sense of purpose and accomplishment. When they see the positive impact they're making, it can lift their spirits and improve their mental health. Feeling needed and valued can be incredibly empowering.Social connections are vital for everyone, and seniors are no exception. Volunteering offers a chance to meet new people and build friendships. This helps reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, which are common among seniors. A vibrant social life can lead to increased happiness and emotional well-being.Physical Health BenefitsStaying active and engaged through volunteer work can also benefit physical health. Movement is necessary for maintaining health, whether it's light physical activity or simply getting out of the house. Some studies even suggest that active seniors are likely to have better overall physical health.From walks around the park with fellow volunteers to light cleaning and tidying up around a community organization, there are a wealth of ways to keep seniors active while doing good for those around them. Still, seniors should always speak to their healthcare providers before starting a new fitness routine.How Caregivers Can Support Senior VolunteerismAs a caregiver, you can help seniors find the right volunteer opportunities. Match these opportunities with the senior's interests and skills. Consider what they enjoy and what they're good at. Equally important is considering their physical and cognitive abilities to ensure the volunteer work is suitable and fulfilling.One of the main barriers to volunteering is often transportation. Caregivers can arrange transportation to volunteer sites. This includes coordinating schedules and ensuring the seniors can get where they need to be. Providing logistical support, like helping with sign-ups and schedules, can make a big difference.Caregivers should offer positive reinforcement and celebrate the senior's contributions. Sometimes, seniors may have concerns or fears about starting something new. Addressing these concerns and providing the support they need can motivate them to take the first step.Get Custom Care and Support Services for Seniors TodayThe benefits of senior volunteerism are numerous, from boosting self-esteem to promoting social connections and improving physical health. Caregivers can help by identifying suitable opportunities, providing transportation, and offering encouragement. Let's strive to support our seniors in giving back to the community.If you need assistance in finding and supporting volunteer opportunities for seniors in Fort Collins, Englewood, Littleton, Windsor, and Longmont, contact us at Senior Helpers Fort Collins. We proudly provide compassionate senior care services that serve the whole person and enhance emotional and physical health.

What to Do When Senior Parents Don't Recognize You

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's or dementia is a journey filled with emotional highs and lows. One of the most challenging moments for adult children serving as primary caregivers is when their parents are unable to recognize them. This can be a heartbreaking and distressing experience, and understanding how to respond and how to care for your own emotional health is crucial. Alzheimer's and DementiaAlzheimer's and dementia are complex neurological disorders primarily characterized by memory loss and cognitive decline. Recognizing their nature is fundamental to coping with the impact. These conditions mess up the brain's wiring, interfering not only with memory but also recognition, making familiar faces seem alien to your loved ones. While it is distressing, remember it is the disease, not your parent, causing this heartbreaking moment of non-recognition.Coping With the Moment of Non-recognition When a loved one fails to recognize you, it can be a shocking and emotional moment. It's important to handle it with grace and sensitivity. Stay calm; your reaction can influence your parent's response. Arguing or correcting them may only cause confusion or distress. Patiently reassure them with your presence, emitting love and care. Remind yourself not to take their non-recognition personally; it is the disease at the helm, not their choice.Focusing on Self-Care as a CaregiverAs you navigate these challenging times, taking care of your emotional health is paramount. The adage 'you can't pour from an empty cup' rings true in your role as a caregiver. Regular breaks from caregiving duties will allow you to recharge and can be beneficial for your stress levels. Engaging in hobbies or activities that you enjoy can provide a much-needed distraction and a source of joy. Don't hesitate to seek counseling or support groups; sharing your experiences with those who understand can lighten your emotional load.Navigating the Long-Term Emotional ImpactRepeated instances of non-recognition can indeed lead to continuous emotional distress. It's a stark reminder of the progressive nature of the disease and can challenge your emotional resilience.Focus on the Good TimeDuring these times, focus on the moments of connection and understanding that you still share with your parent. Gently remind yourself that your relationship extends beyond recognition; it's rooted in a lifetime of shared memories and experiences. MournIt's okay to mourn the loss of what once was, but don't let that eclipse the love that remains. If you find yourself struggling to cope, it's crucial to seek professional help. Therapists or counselors specialized in caregiver stress can provide tools to manage your emotions better.Forgive YourselfEmbrace self-forgiveness. You're doing the best you can, and you should cut yourself some slack. Know that it's okay to have moments of frustration or sadness. Resilience is not about never faltering; it is about getting back up every time you stumble.Loving Care for Seniors With Alzheimer's or DementiaThe journey of caregiving for a parent with Alzheimer's or dementia is challenging, and the emotional impact when they fail to recognize you can be overwhelming. Understanding the nature of their condition, managing your reaction, and emphasizing self-care are all crucial to navigating these difficult moments. If you live in Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Wellington, or Longmont, Senior Helpers Greeley is here to support you. We offer various services to assist and provide resources to make this journey manageable. Contact us today by calling 970-373-3858.

Caretaker's Guide to Promoting Senior Skin Health

Ensuring the overall well-being of seniors often involves a spectrum of care considerations. One aspect that is frequently overlooked is skin health. Our skin becomes more susceptible to dryness, bruising, and pressure sores as we age, amplifying the necessity for effective and gentle skincare. Discover how gentle cleansing, proper moisturizing, and diligent sun protection can greatly enhance skin health for seniors.The Unique Skin Needs of SeniorsAging affects every part of our body, including the skin. Seniors' skin is typically thinner, less hydrated, and slower to heal. Common issues such as dryness, bruising, and pressure sores can be more prevalent. Familiarizing yourself with these skin characteristics can facilitate a healthier skincare regime for seniors.Gentle Cleansing for Senior SkinA fundamental step in senior skincare is gentle cleansing. Because senior skin is thinner and less oily, harsh soaps or cleansers can strip away natural oils, resulting in dry and irritated skin. Opt for gentle, fragrance-free cleansers designed for delicate skin.When cleansing, use lukewarm water and a soft cloth to avoid causing micro-tears in the skin. Pat the skin gently dry instead of rubbing to prevent unnecessary irritation. Regularly incorporating these gentle cleansing methods into the daily care routine can greatly improve skin health.Importance of Moisturizing Senior SkinProper hydration is crucial for maintaining healthy skin, particularly in seniors. After cleansing, moisturizing is the next vital step. A good moisturizer can help seal in moisture and prevent dryness and flaking.Consider opting for thicker creams or ointments designed for dry skin and apply them when the skin is still slightly damp to better lock in moisture. Remember, consistency is crucial in maintaining hydration levels in the skin.Protecting Senior Skin From the SunProtecting senior skin from excessive sun exposure is critical, as it can lead to sunburn and skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer. Suggest wearing protective clothing and wide-brimmed hats, staying in the shade during peak sunlight hours, and diligently using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.Identifying and Addressing Skin IssuesBeing observant is an important aspect of senior skin care. Regularly inspect the skin for any changes, such as new spots, changes in existing moles, unexplained bruises, or the development of pressure sores. Early detection greatly improves the chances of successful treatment.When you spot common skin issues like dryness or light bruising, the best course of action usually involves adjusting your skincare routine and adopting the methods discussed above. In case of severe conditions like non-healing sores or significant skin changes, seeking professional medical advice is highly recommended.Keep Senior Skin Comfortable and RadiantPromoting healthy skin in seniors greatly contributes to their overall well-being. As a caretaker, understanding their unique skin needs can enhance their comfort and health. From gentle cleansing to vigilant moisturizing and sun protection, every step helps maintain skin health.If you're in Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Wellington, or Longmont and need assistance with senior care, contact us at Senior Helpers Greeley. We are committed to providing exceptional senior care, focusing on the holistic needs of seniors, including skin health. Let's work together to promote healthier skin and happier seniors.

Local Services By This Author

ComForCare Home Care - Northern Colorado

Non-Medical 561 East Garden Drive, Windsor, Colorado, 80550

ComForCare is family-based. Laura and Chris the owners have both been caregivers for 30 years. Laura started as a caregiver when she was 16 and now has a masters degree in nursing. Chris was a career firefighter for 25 years. Through in-home care services, ComForCare Fort Collins helps older adults to stay in their own homes and continue to do all the things they love. Whether care is needed for a few hours a week or 24/7, our professional caregivers are available to provide the services you need.

ComForCare Home Care - Northern Colorado

Home Health 561 East Garden Drive, Windsor, Colorado, 80550

ComForCare is family-based. Laura and Chris the owners have both been caregivers for 30 years. Laura started as a caregiver when she was 16 and now has a masters degree in nursing. Chris was a career firefighter for 25 years. Through in-home care services, ComForCare Fort Collins helps older adults to stay in their own homes and continue to do all the things they love. Whether care is needed for a few hours a week or 24/7, our professional caregivers are available to provide the services you need.