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Senior Centers Help with Aging in Place

 

Today’s senior is different than the senior of generation’s past. They are independent, active, and have no desire to live somewhere else other than their homes. Aging in place is defined as being able to live in one’s home while still receiving the necessary services and goods even as needs change.

The “Aging in place” market is exploding and is expected to reach $20 billion by 2020. Recent polls involving senior living and care options show that over 80% of seniors have a desire to live at home for the remainder of their lives. So where does that leave the traditional senior center? They have responded by going outside their walls by offering their services to people in their homes.

Below we look at how Senior Centers help those who choose to age in place.

Transportation

Transportation is one of the number one issues for seniors. A lack of reliable transportation is a safety hazard and can also isolate seniors by making them homebound. Many seniors are uncomfortable taking expensive taxis or using city transportation services.

In response to this problem some senior centers have begun providing transportation to those who live at home for a minimal cost. Drivers are usually a mix of volunteers with a few paid personnel. They offer services like coming to the door and carrying packages that are not offered by traditional transportation options.

Geriatric Care Managers

Geriatric care managers, also known as life care managers, are trained in gerontology, counseling, nursing, and social work. These experts can provide a wide array of services to the aging in place client giving them care that is typically offered at a senior center. They also help the senior by making appropriate referrals to other professionals or agencies.

Safety Assessment

Senior center staff can come to a home and perform an in-home safety assessment to identify safety hazards and make recommendations on how to make the home more convenient to the aging process. Home modifications including telecommunications, entryways and exits make a huge difference to the senior who wants to stay at home.

Personal Care

Personal care workers can come in and help the client bathe, get dressed and provide light house duty. Many seniors are healthy enough to remain at home without risk but need a little extra help with daily personal duties and household chores. Some personal care workers will also help remind clients to take their prescription medications. There are medical and non-medical personal care workers. Non-medical workers are less expensive but cannot provide the range of services as medical workers.

Meals

Food services such as personal shopping, and meals on wheels programs provide much needed food and nutritional services for seniors who have transportation issues. The program provides nutritious meals that provide the vitamins and nutrients seniors need to keep healthy.

Financial Planning

Seniors often have difficulty keeping track of their finances and putting their financial house in order in the event that they pass on suddenly. Senior center personnel can refer aging at home clients to financial planners who specialize in elder care financial planning. Senior financial planners will typically involve the senior’s family so they can assist with things such as insurance options, Medicare, and estate planning

Home Remodeling

Senior home remodeling has turned into a thriving industry as seniors who want to age at home need to make modifications to their home. Senior centers can refer specialized contractors who specialize in aging at home modifications and are certified. Aging at home contractors can come in and make changes such as:

· Entries without steps
· Non-skid flooring
· Temperature controlled faucets on sinks and tubs
· Installation of medical response device
· Large bathrooms with turnaround space for wheelchairs and walkers
· Higher countertops
· Grab bars at shower, tubs, and toilets

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