The Pew Research Center reports that the multi-generational family or extended household fell out of favor in the USA of the 1960’s-1990’s, but it has made a comeback. When the Millennial generation reaches 65, many will already know what aging entails from growing up alongside their family elders. Today’s seniors, the Baby Boomers, may have lacked the skills they needed to care for their parents and could still be clueless about how to anticipate the challenges they may face in their own Golden Years.
Much joy accrues from increased life expectancy, but so do struggles with housekeeping, medical appointments, personal hygiene, food preparation, physical mobility, and the loss of friends and romantic partners. For millions of those without grown children or only distant relatives and far-flung friends, home care provides a lifeline.
One thing that experts in elder care know that few interior decorators do is how to make a home senior-friendly. Instead of adding a skylight or revamping the garage as a personal gym, the freshmen class of elders should find out how to make their tubs, showers, and toilets, as well as outdoor steps and indoor stairs less dangerous. Safety bars, shower chairs, skid-proof steps, easy-to-reach light fixtures, and simple but effective home security systems are hot sellers on the senior market.
Another set of issues involves household chores. How physically able are the seniors in the home at present to wash and dry laundry and dishes? Who can and will sweep and mop the floors, mow the lawn, bag the leaves, take the trash bags to the curb on pick-up day, and drive one or more seniors in the household to their medical appointments? Those who have never managed these chores may assume they are simple. For the newly retired, housework may require no immediate lifestyle changes. But at some time in a senior’s life, these chores may become overwhelming. Getting in touch with the nearest home care agency might be wise, even for those who do not need immediate help. One fall or injury, one operation or illness, the steady erosion of sight and hearing, or the onset of dementia can turn the life of an elderly person upside down.
Younger friends, grown children, and friendly neighbors can assist seniors temporarily, but the real choice may come down either to staying at home with reliable home care or leaving. This is where senior care agencies have made enormous contributions. One elder may only need a cheerful visitor to drop in twice a week to cook and put away the dishes. Another may need daily personal hygiene care and bathing. Some require help taking medications and getting down the steps to a patio. Others wants some companionship, home-cooked meals, and assistance in cleaning out decades of treasures from chests of drawers, closets, boxes, and storage sheds.
Those who now live longer, on average, than did all but a lucky few souls in the past have a marvelous opportunity to make the most of the additional years to learn and grow, laugh and cry, speak and listen, sing and dance, and do all the amazing things of which human beings are capable. Growing older in a comfortable home with a little help from some friends is like winning a Powerball Sweepstakes. A home care provider can offer your senior that win.
If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Castle Pines, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 303-953-9924.