To Stay at Home or Not to Stay at Home

– By George Shaw
Most individuals, if given the choice, would prefer to stay in their own home later in life – even as their needs for care progress. There are a number of different home health care options for those who wish to “age in place,” yet depending on the actual level of care that is required, this option can become quite costly – especially if assistance is needed around the clock.

Some of the issues to consider when making the decision to remain at home or move into a senior care facility include cost and location. Proximity to family and other loved ones is certainly a primary factor in making this decision – regardless of whether these individuals will be the actual caregivers.

Certainly, we all enjoy our independence. It is great to be able to do the things that we want to do when we choose to do them. But for some who are getting older, physical mobility and / or cognitive impairments may make it difficult to live an independent lifestyle without the assistance of others.

While in the past, seniors with physical or mental impairments had no other choice but to move to a skilled nursing home, today there are many types of living arrangement options that are available. These can include:

Retirement Communities – As the group of baby boomers who are retiring continues to increase, there are a number of new retirement communities being developed across the country. These living arrangements typically consist of apartments or condos for those who can live independently, and they oftentimes provide amenities such as swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts, and a myriad of planned social activities.

Assisted Care Living Facilities – Assisted care living facilities are ideal for those who can do most things independently, but they may need some assistance with basic daily activities such as bathing or dressing. These facilities typically consist of apartment type arrangements with a common eating area and planned activities.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities – Continuing Care Retirement Communities, or CCRCs, are a relatively new type of living arrangement for seniors that consist of independent condos, assisted living quarters, and skilled nursing services, whereby the residents may move to different areas as their needs for care progress. These communities are ideal for seniors as they can stay in one area, even if they develop a need for additional assistance. These are also a great option for married couples as both individuals may reside in the same location, even if one needs a higher level of care.

In terms of expenses, in many cases, the cost of care in a facility or at home may be covered under a long-term care insurance policy. Today’s insurance plans have become quite flexible in their payment options for the many different care choices that are now available to seniors.

Adaptive Clothing for Those with Limited Mobility

I was introduced to an article the contents of which I wanted to share.  It had to do with a clothier who has made “adaptive” clothing his niche. When Jeff Alter was invited to become a member of his family’s clothing business, he decided to focus on one sector of the population: the senior demographic and, more specifically, clothing that adapted itself to the needs of that demographic.

What is adaptive clothing?  Clothing that adapts itself to people who have limited mobility.  As Rick Spencer from the National Post writes:

Silvert’s niche isn’t for everyone. “Adaptive” clothing refers to clothes that have been engineered to meet the limited mobility of aging seniors. Think of open-back blouses and sweaters that can be donned without the wearers having to raise their arms, or open-back pants (there’s a flap that closes with a snap) that lets seated people dress without standing up. Elastic waists, Velcro closures, no-slip socks and extra-wide slippers offer some idea of the attention to detail Silvert’s provides to its market.

This isn’t high fashion; it’s colorful casual wear that restores dignity to an often-neglected demographic, from the bedridden to the merely arthritic, and makes life easier for their caregivers.

Alter does not own stores.  These clothes can be ordered online at or through catalogues sent out twice yearly.

I was introduced to this article through one of the groups that I am a part of with Linkedin, Senior Care, and one of the participants shared this bit of information:

I have a client, age 90, with severe neurologic pain from shingles. She cannot tolerate touch to her upper body. She wears garments designed by this company which allow minimal movement and touch when dressing. What wonderful designs! I highly recommend every care manager exploring these alternative garments, they are wonderful and very attractive.

Although I do not condone using my blog as an advertising forum, sometimes, like with this article, which highlights someone who is really enhancing the lives of the people his company serves, it ends up being advertising in its purest form: ie, spreading the word!

© Yvonne Behrens  2012