It wasn’t that long ago…
…that the elder generation did not have a lot of choices as to options for their Charleston senior care. If someone could no longer take care of themselves, either outside help (usually a family member) had to come in, or a move would have to occur to another’s home (again, usually a family member) or to a facility of some kind. We are fortunate today to have a variety of options available to allow us to age in place gracefully.
Studies have shown that elders who remain in their own homes live healthier, safer, and happier lives. A study in 2000 by AARP, a Washington D.C. association that focuses on issues affecting older Americans, found that 73% of Americans aged 55 and older “ expect to always live in their current residence”.
The baby boomer population is nearly 80 million strong and is proactive in their desire to age the way they want to – meaning, staying as independent as they can for as long as possible. Now it is possible, thanks to a number of different services, organizations, companies, home modifications, resources, and products all aimed at allowing someone to stay in the place that they love until the end of their life. The trick is to know your choices here in the Lowcountry so you can make an informed decision when the time comes to implement these options.
In order to be able to continue to reside in your own home some considerations that need to be made would involve the areas of health care, livable residences, financial and legal concerns, transportation, supportive relationships, and public and nonprofit resources. These might include some of the following:
• Physicians who make house calls – there are at least two in the Charleston area.
• In home non-medical and medical companies – provide companion sitters who assist with activities of daily living to registered nurses who administer medical care. These Companies are listed in the yellow pages under Home Health Services and Nurses
• Geriatric Care Managers – to locate a geriatric care manager in your area visit The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers at www.caremanager.org
• SC Access – a free information and referral program for seniors and adults with disabilities living in South Carolina. The web-site can be found at www.scaccesshelp.org
• Senior Centers
• Home Modification – remodeling, home repairs, modifications and designs for seniors in their homes – A list of companies and organizations that offer services in this type of work has been compiled by AIP Partnership Task Force with names, numbers and web sights.
• Medical alert systems – allows an alert to be sent (usually a button to be pressed that is worn around the
neck) when an emergency takes place such as a fall.
• Long Term Care Insurance – insurance that pays for in home sitters or assisted living facilities if such a need arises
• Reverse Mortgages – a special type of home loan that lets a homeowner convert the equity in his/her home into cash.
• Elder law services
• Alzheimer’s Association
• Meals On Wheels
• Hospice Care
• Charleston Mayor’s Office On Aging
• Respite Care Ministries
• Trident Area Agency On Aging – 1-800-894-0415 and www.tridentaaa.com
• Independent Transportation Network – access to affordable and reliable transportation for the elderly.
• Wheelchair-bound transportation services
Hopefully now you know a little more about the numerous options and services available to you to help you or a loved one remain safely residing in your home. Please feel free to gather more information by contacting any of them. You will find them all extremely helpful. And never hesitate to pick up the phone to call me if I can help you in any way. My number is: (843) 884-2828.