The Laureate Way

Articles to Help Families and Older Adults Manage the Challenges of Aging

Should Aging Adults Live at Home?

risks of seniors living at home

Should aging adults live at home? The vast majority of our elders want to stay in their homes for as long as possible, but when is living at home not the best option? Let’s explore 4 questions to ask if an aging loved one lives at home.

1. Safety

Ask yourself: Keeping Mom in her home may be comforting to her, but is she safe? Should she be alone? 

If your parent has grown frail and does not walk without assistance, the chances of falling are great. According to the CDC, one out of three adults age 65 and older falls each year. About 30% of people who do fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as hip fractures or head traumas.

2. Nutrition

Ask yourself: Is my loved one eating a well-rounded selection of food each day? 

Many older adults find cooking a chore or find that it isn’t enjoyable to cook for one. Finding spoiled in the refrigerator or tossed in the garbage can be an indication that your loved one might not be eating well. Poor diet, especially for someone with a chronic condition, can lead to health complications. 

3. Managing medications

Ask yourself: Is my loved one not following a drug regimen correctly?

A big tasks to keep in mind when asking should aging adults live at home is managing multiple medications. It can be extremely confusing for many people, but some older adults could be jeopardizing their health unintentionally. According to a study published by the Society of Internal Medicine, 41% percent of seniors reported taking five or more prescription medications, and more than half had two or more prescribing physicians.

In-home assistance for a parent or parents may be an option if your parents simply need help remembering to take their medications. If your parents may no longer be able to manage their medications, you may need to consider services provided by an assisted living community or risk experiencing a medical emergency.  

4. Loneliness

Ask yourself: Is my loved one finding joy in life?

A New York Times article, “At Home, Many Seniors Are Imprisoned by Their Independence,” noted that depression affects a quarter to a third of the semi-homebound and 60% of the completely homebound.

Feeling left out and isolated or experiencing limited companionship is a common challenge of aging. Do they have opportunities to spend time with their peers? Is all the time you spend with them taken up with chores? Loneliness does not mean living alone. Almost two-thirds of seniors who reported feeling lonely were married or living with a partner. 

Should aging adults live at home? We often hear from older adults who recently moved into our communities that they wished they would have made the move sooner. They’ve come to realize how much more pleasurable living can be when they are surrounded by friends who enjoy the same interests. And there is peace of mind knowing that staff is nearby to assist if help is needed. Instead of the fear they had of losing independence when they moved, they actually gained some. 

While there are a variety of services that can support an older adult in his or her home, it still doesn’t mean that your loved one is living independently. By making an honest assessment of the situation, you will know what the right course of action is for you and your loved oneShoul.