This is a statement that we hear on a regular basis in our office when we talk about aging and potentially needing assistance for our loved ones in the future. Most people, if asked, would choose or want to stay home as long as they possibly can. We often are abruptly interrupted when we start talking about alternatives such as assisted living facilities or personal care homes or long-term care facilities.
It is certainly admirable to want to stay home as long as possible and there are a lot of things that can be done to help ensure that that can occur. The time to start discussing what it is going to look like for a loved one to stay home is now. Take a look at the house and the configurations of the house to determine if it is suitable and adaptable to allow somebody to age there. Is there a possibility of putting ramps in or having a stair lift installed to assist with getting up and down steps within the home. Are there appropriate handrails or grab bars in bathrooms and other places. We highly recommend that you ask a geriatric care manager to come to your home to assist with evaluating its adaptability and suitability for people as they age.
If you find yourself in a situation where a loved one needs care now, we highly recommend that you look at non-medical options to have someone come into the person’s home to assist them with their needs. Non-medical options are plentiful in the York and surrounding areas and allow families to know that their loved ones will have a companion during the day and potentially get reminders throughout the day about taking medication, going to the restroom, or getting meals. Oftentimes all that people need is simple reminders and someone just taking a look to make sure that they are remaining safe in their home. If the situation gets worse and the individual begins to need medical care we are also very lucky in our area that we have several medical options for care in the home. I would highly recommend that you research both the medical and non-medical options in our area to see how plentiful and wonderful these companies are.
As a person ages in place, and as their care needs increase, sometimes it is impossible to have somebody continue to remain in their home because it may become unsafe. There are certainly a lot of options before this becomes a possibility but if a person begins to wander from the home or if the home is not able to be adapted to be safe for them we may have no choice but to move them into another type of setting. However, with proper planning and assistance from outside companies and family members it is possible to age in place in your home for a long time. We highly encourage you to have these conversations ahead of time so that you’re not having them in a crisis situation which makes the conversation much more difficult.
If you would like to learn more about estate planning and elder law, please give our office a call at 717-845-5390.