Did you know that Pennsylvania has the fifth largest older adult population in the nation with 3.4 million individuals?1 As the population continues to age, more people are weighing their options when it comes to downsizing, moving into a senior living community, or choosing to age in the comfort of their homes. According to a 2021 Home and Community Preferences survey by AARP of 2,826 U.S. adults, about 75% of people over the age of 50 expressed that they would like to remain in their current houses and communitiesmeaning aging in place is becoming a more prevalent life choice among older adults.2What to Know About Aging in PlaceIf youre leaning toward spending your years in the place where you feel the most content and safe, then you need to be willing to make some modifications to your home. As you age, your needs change, which means certain features in your home may need to be adjusted. Wider doorways and walkways; accessible bathrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms; ramps and lifts; non-slip floors; and stability aids like grab bars and handrails are some of the most common enhancements that come to mind, but assistive technology can play an important role in aging in place too.Many people choose to age in place because they want to maintain their independence, and assistive technology helps make that possible. From smart home devices that allow you to control the temperature or lights with voice commands to amplified phones and doorbells, there are plenty of high-tech tools that can help you navigate your day-to-day with ease. If youre a senior with hearing loss, Captioned Telephone Relay Service is a free service that allows you to read captions of whats said to you during phone conversations using a uniquely designed CapTel phone.CapTel Makes Phone Conversations Clearer Using CapTel, you can confidently and securely age in place knowing that you can effectively communicate over the phone. Whether youre calling loved ones to catch up, chatting with your doctor, or contacting first responders in an emergency, CapTel is a dependable communication solution for older adults who have hearing loss.Best of all, the CapTel captioning service is free and available in English and Spanish, with captions appearing on the bright, built-in display screen of the CapTel phone just moments after the other caller has spoken. CapTel phones can be purchased directly for $75 through a third-party vendor, or qualified Pennsylvania residents can apply for a CapTel device through the states Telecommunications Device Distribution Program (TDDP)which provides specialized equipment to individuals who find it difficult to use a standard phone. Age in Place Confidently with CapTelTo learn more about CapTel, including how to purchase or apply for an assistive communication device, visit pactrs.com today!Sources:1Master Plan for Older Adults, Pennsylvania Department of Aging 22021 Home and Community Preferences Survey: A National Survey of Adults Age 18-Plus | Joannne Binette & Fanni Farago, AARP Research CapTel is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc.
Moving to a personal care home is a big decision based on many factors. Cold winter months are drawing near, and the Farmers Almanac is forecasting a Winter Wonderland for the northeastern United States. Keeping this in mind, and to avoid winter chores, this is a great time to consider a respite stay and experience first-hand what life is like living in a personal care home.Experience an easier moveWinter weather conditions like snow and ice can complicate the move to a personal care home. Moving before bad weather conditions arrive allows seniors to avoid potential weather-related delays, accidents or other challenges during transportation and when moving belongings.Try out the personal care homeRespite care offers seniors a chance to try out a retirement community without making a long-term commitment. Country Meadows offers all-rental retirement living accommodations, so seniors are not beholden to a lengthy lease or an ownership stake. A respite stay can help older adults see for themselves whether or not the community is a good fit for a permanent move.Avoid winter weather challengesMany older adults struggle with winter chores such as shoveling snow, chipping away ice, walking on icy sidewalks, managing heating systems and driving in inclement weather. A temporary respite stay at a personal care home eliminates these responsibilities, as well as many other daily chores, removing worries. It provides seniors the opportunity to settle into their new living arrangement without the added stress of winter weather.Access daily assistance and health servicesAlong with cold weather, the winter season can also bring several challenges for older adults to maintain wellness. A major benefit to living at a personal care home is prompt, easy access to health resources and assistance. This is especially beneficial for seniors with health concerns and mobility issues. If a resident requires assistance with medications, dressing, bathing or another daily activity, simply push a call button and a personal care associate can provide needed help. And a wellness team keeps an eye on each residents overall health.Reduce lonelinessMany seniors experience loneliness and isolation while living at home. The winter months can magnify these feelings. Respite care offers opportunities for social interaction and engagement with new neighbors and friends in the same age group, reducing feelings of loneliness and providing mental stimulation.Participate in activities, enjoy entertainment and outingsSenior living communities often offer a variety of enriching activities and events. At Country Meadows, our Vibe program considers each residents physical, cognitive, social and spiritual needs and customizes activities, entertainment, outings and purposeful service opportunities. Events are organized seasonally by categories and offer opportunities for socialization and fun. When living at a personal care home, one doesnt need to brave the elements outside, because all the fun during winter is happening indoors, fostering a sense of belonging among residents.Provide relief for family caregiversA respite stay offers a break for family members and friends providing care in a seniors private home. This break is especially appreciated during winter months when private caregiving responsibilities might become more demanding due to inclement weather, illnesses or holiday-related activities.When considering respite care at a personal care home or retirement community over the winter months, its important to do some homework. Families and seniors should research and visit potential facilities to ensure the community can meet specific needs and preferences of each individual. The decision for respite care should prioritize the well-being, comfort and specific needs of each person, aiming to provide a supportive and enriching experience. Contact Country Meadows Retirement Communities today.
Caring for senior loved ones with dementia can be both rewarding and extremely exhausting. While we strive to do everything we can for them and want to be a part of their care as much as possible, it can start to take a toll on us. That is where home care for people with dementia can help. Having an in-home caregiver can help provide relief for family members and friends while at the same time providing personalized care and support for dementia patients within the comfort of their own homes. Professional home care workers, such as those with Visiting Angels Punta Gorda, can come into the home as much or as little as you like to help your senior loved one. They can supplement the care that family members offer, or family members can supplement the care they give. Home care workers also can help with specific tasks or all of the day-to-day tasks your senior needs.Here are some ways home care can help your senior loved one with dementia and also help family members on this care journey.Everyday NeedsProfessionals with home care agencies can help dementia patients with activities of daily living, including bathing, getting dressed and undressed each morning and night, grooming, using the toilet, eating and more. Often dementia patients resist showers. Home care workers skilled in working with memory loss patients can help them at least clean up each day. By helping with these tasks, they can help ensure their safety, health and hygiene are cared for. Home care workers can help them feel more like themselves throughout the day with brushed hair and teeth, clean clothes and a clean environment.SafetyWhile in-home caregivers are present in the home, they will help ensure your senior loved one suffering from dementia is safe. They can help ensure they dont wander from the home or leave the stove burner on after cooking something. If family members cannot always be there, home care workers can alert them to anything that might be a safety hazard, such as a loose rug, wobbly banister or door that your senior loved one keeps unlocking and trying to leave from. If your senior loved one needs more stability during their bathing, caregivers can let the family know they might need to install grab bars. They also can provide a steady hand for seniors and avoid any dangerous areas, such as cords, that could cause potential tripping hazards. Dementia patients may not remember to let their families know what they need or even be aware that it is a concern, so home care workers can provide an extra level of safety protection for them. CompanionshipHaving a homecare worker present can offer seniors with dementia constant companionship. People suffering from dementia often can become isolated or feel lonely, which can worsen their symptoms. Some symptoms of dementia include aggressiveness and/or crabbiness. Dementia patients have been known to push their family members away or to act hostile. A home care worker can provide companionship and support for senior citizens, especially when family members feel like retreating or that they need a break. They can listen to their stories, ask them questions and engage the patient in meaningful social activities to improve their emotional well-being.Relieving the familyThere is no doubt that caring for a loved one with dementia brings with it a ton of emotions and lots of stress. It also can place family members in situations they are not comfortable with. If children feel uncomfortable doing some of the caregiving for their parents, such as bathing or toileting, a home care worker can do the essentials so family members can simply spend time with them. They also can help with some of the more frustrating tasks so that family members dont lose patience and so that clients do not take out their frustration on their family members. Homecare workers also can provide respite care, which means family members can leave the home or caregiving duties for a short period of time. They can go out to coffee with a friend to refresh, have a nice dinner out without worrying about hurrying back to help their loved one, or they can even just take a peaceful nap at home with the help of respite care. Respite care can also provide short-term relief for a weekend away or an extended vacation.We Can HelpIf you are looking for help caring for your senior this spring and every season of the year, our professionals at Visiting Angels Punta Gorda are here to help. We provide a variety of home care services, including companion care, fall prevention and more. Our expert team of caregivers serves clients in Punta Gorda, North Fort Myers, Boca Grande, Cape Coral, Sanibel, Captiva, Arcadia and surrounding areas. To learn more about our services, call us at 941-347-8288, or contact us online.