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January 2014

by Amanda Powell

Seniors are often faced with making a decision about the level of care they need and whether or not they can stay in their home.  If they are not able to make this decision, the family is often faced with making it for them.  I have worked with many families who are feeling frustrated and even defeated when they are trying to talk their loved one into moving.  Have you ever heard the saying “there is no place like home”?  Well, this saying really resonates with all of us. Especially as we get older.  


It is really important to remember that home is more than just the house that we live in.  Home is where we have our family memories, our familiar paths, and where a lifetime of history has taken place.  Seniors are often home owners as well and this can represent the lifetime of hard work to manage their household, obtain their belongings and their ability to control their own life.  With this in mind, you can imagine how difficult this decision would be for a senior.  When your familiar routines and comfort zone is threatened or disrupted, it is easy to see how a senior would have difficulty deciding that moving out of their home would ever be a good idea.   


Think about how familiar you are in your own home and how you could maneuver yourself in the dark or even blindfolded because it is so familiar. Think about how little attention we pay to accomplishing daily tasks in our homes.  When considering moving a senior out of their home you must remember this means them learning a whole new environment.  It would be very scary for a senior and really quite difficult after living in one place for so long.


With all of this being said our homes are often not very accessible or equipped for us to age safely in place.   It actually is the unchanging nature of our environment that makes us have to consider doing something different as we age.  Consider the growing trend of families no longer settling in their hometowns, with children often getting jobs in new areas and establishing their families away from their parents.  This is the time for seniors and families to look at their situation and develop a care plan that will meet the senior’s needs but also assist the family in knowing appropriate care and safety is provided.  Sometimes this does result in the decision to move to a new location.  It may be to a new town closer to family; it may be in an assisted living center or even a nursing home.  


It is important that seniors and their families evaluate all options for care and living arrangements prior to making this big decision to uproot from the homestead.  Sometimes making adjustments to the home for accessibility and adding home care is the solution that meets all of the needs including the need to age in place.  


At Western Illinois Home Health Care, our Senior Care Managers can assess the environment and your personal needs and tailor a care plan to make it possible to age at home.  If you, or someone you know, are considering moving out of your home due to unmet needs, please call our office at 1-800-228-5993.  


Amanda Powell, BSW is a Senior Care Manager for Western Illinois Home Health Care


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