“Staying happy and healthy at home is a good thing,” says Shannon Saunders, General Manager of Sunridge Gardens Seniors Community in Langley. “Home care can seem like an obvious solution for older adults who require support, but there are important pros and cons to consider.”
CON: It can enable social isolation
“Sometimes, seniors lean heavily on home support. There’s an assumption that your life will be better in your home,” shares Shannon. “While your family home may be full of happy memories that make you feel like you don’t want to leave, the support system surrounding you in a senior living community can truly improve the quality of your life right now. Why not consider making new happy memories in the next chapter of your life.”
PRO: It can extend your independence
“Visits from home care support workers help our residents stay independent and avoid having to move to an assisted living facility,” explains Shannon. “A bit of help with bathing or medication can make all the difference.”
CON: Inconsistent care givers
“My experience is that often there’s a rotating door of support workers dropping in to care for seniors,” says Shannon. Stability, and consistency are difficult for home care service providers to maintain. It’s the opposite in senior living. “Our residents and staff develop very close relationships and connect over meals, while housekeeping, at programs and are there 24 hours a day.
PRO: It’s available for support after an illness
“Often, it’s a crisis that leads people to need home care for the first time,” notes Shannon. In a medical emergency that involves a hospital visit, a case coordinator may work with the senior and family members to arrange necessary home care during recovery. “The goal is to get you home and back into your regular rhythms,” says Shannon.
CON: It’s no substitute for relationships
“I’ve seen some sad situations where seniors are alone all day aside from a couple of short visits from a home care support worker,” says Shannon. “That’s not enough to combat loneliness and remain healthy” Our brains and bodies flourish when we’re making lots of relationship connections, home care isn’t a replacement for community.
Find out how home care and retirement living communities can work together to create a supportive environment where seniors enjoy relationships, consistent support, customized wellness programs and ongoing independence.