March 15, 2017
Hello. Katelyn here, writing my second blog. Last month, we discussed the importance of talking about aging and planning for it. If you went through the steps I gave you, you probably realized there are many potential options for “what if’s” and you feel it is impossible to plan. And this is fairly true. My advice: learn a bit about all of the options, so if a situation arises you are more prepared and know where to turn. You are never going to be 100% prepared for the situation and I don’t think I can say it will be easy if you plan, but it will be less stressful.
So today, we are going to focus on one option that everyone wants. How do I stay at home? I want to clarify something from the last blog. In the last blog, I said you should not just plan for staying at home, and I still agree with that statement. Have a Plan B. But this does not mean that staying at home is not an option.
So let’s talk about the ways to stay in your home as long as possible by utilizing community resources…
Home Modifications: Changes and modifications can be made to your home to help prevent unsafe situations. This can range from small changes to large changes. For example, you can replace doorknobs with easier-to-use handles or you can install a lift or build a wheelchair ramp. Changes like these can improve the accessibility of a home for an aging person. Consider making these changes BEFORE they are needed or a situation arises where it would have been useful.
COST: The cost of this will highly depend on the changes you are making. However, keep an eye out for organizations or options to buy used equipment, such as a hoyer lift or wheelchair, because this will be more affordable.
Recently, my parents (who are in their 50s) decided to re-model their bathroom. And you bet I asked them about making sure it was age-friendly with a step-in shower. And yes, I am the favorite child despite this incident.
Senior Centers: Senior centers do not provide much care per say, but they are a great resource for socialization and meals for seniors who are able to leave their home. There will be education events, activities, and meals that are free of charge. If an individual is not able to leave their home, the senior center can help to provide Meals on Wheels to them, ensuring they are getting nutritious meals for a low cost. You can contact your local Area Agency on Aging to find out the closest senior center.
COST: None, but donations are welcome.
Adult Day Centers: I am sorry that the name does not sound appealing. I do not find that many adults want to go to ‘day care’, but, once they do, they may enjoy it. It can be very similar to a senior center, where there will be meals, socialization, and activities. A lot of individuals enjoy that. However, they can be for people who have higher care needs as well, some are focused for individuals with Alzheimer's or younger individuals with disabilities. This is a great option for someone who needs care and their at home caregivers works during the business day.
COST: Around $70 - $90/day; $40/half day. Transportation is often included.
Now that you have all of this great information, here is WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
1. Do a housing assessment to find out how age friendly your family member or your own home is. You can use the checklists below to get started.
2. Find your closest senior center and stop by. See what information they have available, what activities and educational events they have coming up. They will have some great resources to get you started. Call or visit the website for your local Area Agency on Aging.
City of St. Louis – 314-622-4800
St. Louis County, Franklin, Jefferson, & St. Charles County – 636-207-1323
Northeast Missouri – 1-800-664-6338
3. If you think you may need to look into adult day care, contact VOYCEconnect to get some options in your area – 314-919-2403.
Disclaimer: This blog acts as an overview for you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to VOYCE via our social media or to me at VOYCE at 314-919-2403 or email@example.com. My focus is on the St. Louis region in Missouri.
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