How to stay in your home longer

Smart thinking: Carers and home modifications cost far less than relocating, and the benefits of independence and wellbeing far outweigh the initial outlay.
Smart thinking: Carers and home modifications cost far less than relocating, and the benefits of independence and wellbeing far outweigh the initial outlay.

Home care really does come in all shapes and sizes, and is designed to keep you active and independent, living in your own home. But assistance is much more than cleaning your home and mowing your lawn.

Perfect companions

Whether it’s cooking up a storm or just having a coffee, client Pat is always glad to see her carers.

Eight years ago after a bout of bowel cancer, 94-year-old Pat, from NSW, decided she needed help at home.

“They got me breakfast, showered and comfortable for the day,” Pat said. “I could never have made it to this grand old age without them.”

While admitting initially it was “a bit off-putting” having someone in the house, it’s now more about friendship.

“You’re glad to see them, and they’re pleased to see you – and they do everything I need done, even down to walking my little puppy Montie.”

Pet projects

After almost 60 years of marriage, 77-year-old Maria found herself alone following the death of her husband Luciano. She now lives at home with the help of an aged care package and her client advisor Alice.

“I couldn’t cope without Alice,” Maria said. “She suggested services I didn’t know existed.” For example, a solution to letting her dog Buddy in and out of the house at night.

“Alice suggested a doggy door and arranged to install one. It’s the best thing I’ve had – I can finally sleep through the night.”

Wearable tech

As well as offering traditional home care services, there are a wide range of technology products to help people remain living safely in their own home.

The key focus is to prevent and reduce falls, a major cause of injury that often lead to hospital admission.

A small, lightweight wearable device can improve posture and maintain a healthy back. Putting it on reminds the wearer to stand tall and look ahead. If you slouch, or look at your feet, it will vibrate.

Pendant alarms worn around the neck or as a bracelet that call for help in an emergency remain popular.

Other popular products include sensors installed at a person’s home, which learns the person’s daily behaviours and sends an alert for help if anything changes dramatically.

Home modifications

Stairlifts ensure people have greater choice about where they live out their retirement years.

“Stairs shouldn’t ever be a daily struggle, nor should they be the reason a person has to move out of the home they love,” a spokesperson said.

Mobility devices and modifications also help to safeguard against accidents.

“So many falls around the home are avoidable,” he said. “Home modifications will also cost far less than relocating, and the benefits of independence and wellbeing far outweigh the initial outlay.”

Lifts are a good way to provide home access for those in need of a safe, discreet and compact alternative to the stairlift.

They can be fitted virtually anywhere because they are not powered by hydraulics and do not need to be fixed to walls or floors.

Access all areas

Sue is one of hundreds of people who receive a home care package, helping them to remain independent and active.

Every week the 81-year-old resident receives help with cleaning, ironing and personal care in the home she shares with her husband.

Her bathroom was renovated, making it wheelchair accessible, and a ramp installed to make getting around easier.

Source: thesenior.com.au