In 2016, the World Health Organization reported that life expectancy continued to steadily increase, with the average age for both men and women in the Americas rising to 76. Statistics Canada reports the median age of the population in 2009 was 39.5, and projected that by 2036, will rise to 42-45. Furthermore, they report that senior citizens are projected to comprise 23-25% or roughly a quarter of the population by 2036.
With Canada’s increasing number of aging citizens, it’s not too early to start discussing and planning elderly care. In-home care and residential care are two options to consider.
There are many benefits of nursing or residential homes including specialized healthcare, an interactive community, extensive access to age-related resources, and housekeeping and food services. However, there are often significant emotional costs for the elderly admitted.
A study by Riedl, Mantovan, and Them (2013) reports that some of the elderly are afraid of losing their independence and identity after entering a nursing home. Changes in social contacts, habits, and autonomy as a result of moving into a nursing home threaten an elderly person’s identity.
It’s fair to say that most seniors want to live at home as long as possible, even if they have long-term health conditions that limit their autonomy. Health authorities also support the concepts of “home care” and “aging at home” because they are less costly than residential or nursing care homes.
To live at home safely and maintain well-being, some seniors will require help with their daily activities such as personal care, medical care, and household maintenance. In-home care offers a variety of essential services that can help restore health and promote longevity. Services can include housekeeping, personal care, meal preparation, nursing services, foot care, and much more.
A great way to start home care is with a certified caregiver completing a few hours of housekeeping support each week to allow for a gradual introduction of someone in the home. After aging parents get comfortable with this, other services can gradually increase.