Staying at home to the end of your life is a goal many people strive for, and for many people it may indeed happen. Studies show that about 80% of Americans would prefer to die at home. In reality they tend to die in acute care hospitals (60%) and nursing homes (20%). Only around 20% of people actually die at home, whether that’s through hospice care at home or in the event of a major health event at home such as a stroke, heart attack, etc. What this statistic helps to point out is that more Americans are ending up in end-of-life care outside of the home, whether in a hospital, a long term care facility, or even hospice outside of home.
As the population ages, more people are choosing to age in a community setting. These communities are built around aging populations and cater to the needs of those who don’t want to own cars, go to the grocery store, or mow the lawn. Independent living communities are very popular, allowing residents to move through housing types as they age, from individual house-styles to single-room apartments and even hospital-style rooms for those under heavy medical care. These communities are not without their costs, and that can be a deterrent for many seniors. So is it possible to age at home? If you do, when should you consider facility life? Let’s take a look.
Aging At Home
Aside from having to worry about all the things about running a home that you’ve always worried about, you’ll need to worry about doing them or paying for someone else to do these things. From mowing the lawn to changing the tall light in the entryway, the one at the tip-top of the ladder, each DIY activity is also a chance to end up with a broken bone, bruised ego, or worse. 20% of elderly people who have a hip fracture die within a year of the fracture. Those who don’t die within a year tend to rely heavily on assistance to complete their daily activities. Better to pay the handyman to change the light than to risk a fall and fracture.
You can do some simple things at home to help you age well: install grab bars, remove tripping hazards, eat a well-rounded diet, stay active, and keep your house tidy. It sounds strange, but a clean house can help you feel more restful and less stressed, instead of living in a constant mess. It’s also a help in the case of emergency services coming to your home to help you – easier access could mean the difference in saving your life.
Reasons to Consider Facility Life
For some, facility life means any kind of community living. What we mean here is some sort of space which helps to support you through illness, whether terminal, minor, or chronic. For those who think of aging communities as facility living, we suggest you take a look at some of the modern options of community living! With ample amenities, services, and available staff for help, there’s no need to worry about life outside your community. From the most independent – cooking your own meals, keeping a house or condo space, maybe even owning a car – to the dorm-style setting of living in an apartment and eating meals in a cafeteria, these communities offer choices for how independent you want to be.
Those considering true facility life are mostly people with chronic or long term illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease or other disabling illnesses. These people need help in daily activities of living, such as dressing, bathing, or eating. Many of these patients will have been cared for lovingly at home for months or years, but need to move to more intensive care for different reasons.
Some of those reasons include:
- Increased agitation, irritability, or yelling.
- Repeatedly asking the same question, even when told the answer.
- Not understanding where they are, even when told.
- Unable to dress or bathe the patient adequately on a daily basis.
- Increased cognitive issues.
- Wandering away or becoming a hazard to themselves.
Why Choose A Facility?
For an example of facility living, look at Landmark Memory Care. We are a community of people with memory issues living together, enjoying life to the fullest. Life in the facility means daily social interaction, three square meals, and regular bathing, all of which contribute to a better state of mind. For these people, life at home has become too difficult to manage on their own, and sometimes even with a caretaker or set of caretakers.
Many people are still set against going into any kind of facility, to the point of making their children, grandchildren, or relatives agree to never put them in a “home”. What you need to think about is quality of life: will the patient’s life be enriched and fulfilling by staying at home? Will the patient be safe, fed, entertained, and cared for? Staying at home could mean loneliness, social isolation, and a less robust social life overall if you don’t have a community in place to help support you.
For those interested in what life at a Memory Care Facility Looks like, you can check out our website for our calendar, menu, and even visit our Facebook to see pictures of our activities. You can call or click today to get more information about Landmark, and about memory care in Lafayette, Colorado.
Did you know?
The city of Lafayette is part of the Boulder County Dementia Friendly Initiative! The Lafayette Police Department thought the last round of training was so informative that it invited Dementia Friendly Boulder County to do the training each year so new recruits are up to speed on the best practices. Now in its second year, Dementia Friendly Boulder County is looking to expand its programs throughout the rest of the county. Landmark is proud to be a part of a growing community for the aging population!