Home is Where the Heart Is

By Wendy Johnstone


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“Home” is any four walls that enclose the right person. ~Helen Rowland

Ninety per cent of individuals and couples want to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. In an ideal world, we would all live in a particular dwelling for as long as we felt able. This may be in our family home, in a housing complex with provision of services and amenities, with a family member or even on a boat!

Seniors and their families want to scan the overall picture and find out what's working well and what isn't in their current living situation. This provides a benchmark to compare with down the road if health or mental abilities change. This includes:

* The ability to function independently and perform daily living tasks such as dressing, bathing, meal preparation, medication management, household tasks, ability to walk and how far, using a telephone, managing finances and transportation, etc.

* Cognitive ability and emotional health, including short-term memory, decision-making and common sense. How easily confused is the individual? Safety level in their current living environment, i.e., can they get out of the house safely in an emergency, do they know who to call? Are they easily confused?

* What financial resources are available for additional private services and/or supportive housing? What formal services are currently being used, if any?

* What do private insurers cover and are there any government programs available to support additional services? For example, this may include extended private health insurance, Veterans Affairs, eligibility and support from local health authorities, etc.

* Is social support high? Are neighbours, friends or other community members available to help? Is the person at risk of isolation and/or loneliness?

Using the information gathered from above, families and seniors can better answer the question, "Is staying in your home the best option?”

If it is the best option, prioritizing the most important needs to remain as independent as possible is an important next step. Seniors and their families can then identify options and gather information on how to access the right types of support and resources, including financial, needed to stay in one’s home for as long as possible.

Webinar for Family Caregivers in February 2016:
Feb 1, 2016 - 10:30 am to 12:00 pm - Coping with the Transition to Long-Term Care

 

FEBRUARY 2016 INSPIRED SENIOR LIVING

 

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