When we think of growing older, many of us cherish the idea of aging in the comfort of our homes. While the home is where the heart is, it’s essential to understand the potential risks of aging at home, especially concerning rehospitalizations. This post sheds light on the increased chances of suffering from chronic conditions and the risk of falls when older individuals opt to age within their household setting.
More Likely to Suffer from Chronic Conditions
A significant concern for those choosing to age at home is the increased vulnerability to chronic conditions. In the comfort of one’s home, it’s easy to overlook regular health check-ups or ignore minor health issues until they escalate. Without a community or team of dedicated team members consistently observing and addressing health changes, such issues can go unnoticed or untreated.
For instance, managing conditions like diabetes or hypertension requires consistent monitoring. In a retirement community, residents often have routine health screenings, ensuring timely interventions. When aging at home, unless a dedicated caregiver or a family member is ensuring regular doctor visits, these conditions can exacerbate, leading to hospitalizations and, unfortunately, subsequent rehospitalizations.
Higher Risk of Falls
Aging naturally brings with it a decline in physical strength and balance. In a familiar home environment, many would assume the risk of falling is minimal. However, that’s only sometimes the case. Homes are often filled with hazards that aren’t immediately recognized – a slippery bathroom floor, an uneven carpet, or even cluttered hallways can pose significant risks.
Unlike at home, Independent Senior Living communities are designed with the needs of their residents in mind. They focus on ensuring a safe environment by minimizing fall hazards and employing team members trained to assist residents in their day-to-day activities, reducing the risk of mishaps.
Moreover, in the unfortunate event of a fall at home, the response time can be a concern. It might take hours or even longer for a family member, loved one, or neighbor to notice and provide assistance. In a retirement community, aid is usually immediately available, ensuring rapid medical attention and reducing the chances of complications.
Not Being Able to Get Around Without Help
One of the underestimated challenges of aging at home is the potential difficulty in mobility. As the years go by, routine tasks such as moving from one room to another, preparing a meal, or even getting up from a chair can become strenuous. Homes, once havens of comfort, can turn into spaces where each step needs careful planning.
In such situations, the absence of immediate assistance can be daunting. Without family members or loved ones around constantly, the chances of mishaps or prolonged immobility increase. Contrast this with a retirement community, where team members are always at hand to assist residents. These communities also often have amenities and design features that cater specifically to ease of mobility, ensuring that residents can move about with minimal hindrance.
Can’t Drive to Doctor Appointments
As we age, driving can become more than a challenge; it can be a safety concern. Vision, reflexes, and cognitive abilities may change, making it riskier to be behind the wheel. For those aging at home, being unable to drive means relying on public transport, family, or community services to get to crucial doctor appointments. Missing or postponing these appointments due to transportation issues can have dire health consequences.
Retirement communities, however, often provide transportation services for their residents. Whether it’s a routine check-up or an unexpected medical need, having a reliable mode of transport ensures that residents receive timely medical care, reducing health risks.