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Assistance Can Keep Seniors at Home; Assessment May Help

Assistance can help keep seniors home longer than they otherwise could without help.

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Older adults who begin to show signs that they need help around the house don't necessarily need to think about leaving. Assistance can help keep seniors home longer than they otherwise could without help.

Q. My 77-year-old mother's house is often in disarray when I visit. I'm thinking it's time for her to make a change in her living arrangement. What are the options and how can I broach this subject with her?

Observation and careful attention to the problem should be your first course of action. Avoid diagnosing a problem and deciding on a solution quickly. Approach your mother with a sense of working together to find a solution rather than telling her what to do.

The specific circumstances – such as financial constraints – may be relevant. Is the problem simply that your mother is physically challenged by strenuous housework or is she deteriorating mentally? Does she just need help tidying up around the house or are other aspects of her personal care, such as bathing, going downhill?

Assuming that the problem is physical where vacuuming or bending is becoming an issue, begin the conversation with an offer: "Mom, I have some extra cash. What do you say we find someone to help you with the heavy stuff, like vacuuming? It will be my treat."

Seniors are often very willing to accept help around the house. And most communities have ample resources such as cleaning services and organizations like Home Instead® that can help.

Home Instead CAREGiversSM are screened, trained, bonded and insured, and can keep seniors at home longer than they otherwise could be without that assistance.

CAREGivers not only provide services such as light housekeeping, but also companionship, meal preparation, medication reminders, errands and shopping. Every effort is made to match CAREGivers with seniors of similar interests. CAREGivers can be a great support for seniors both at home and in the community.

Last revised: July 14, 2011

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