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Top Five Reasons Seniors May Need to Leave Home (Canada)

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As much as most older adults would like to remain in their home, some circumstances could prevent them from fulfilling that dream. According to a survey of North American homeowners between the ages of 55 and 75, conducted by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care®network, 64 percent who want to stay home have thought about necessary age-friendly modifications they will need to make to age in place.

According to the Home Instead research, these top five reasons would lead homeowners surveyed to decide they could not live independently anymore:

  1. Declining cognitive health (58 percent)
  2. Needing more intensive medical care (54 percent)
  3. Mobility problems (51 percent)
  4. Inability to do your own personal care (51 percent)
  5. Inability to care for your house (42 percent)

Furthermore, Home Instead asked family caregivers on social media to describe what the tipping point was for their senior parent to leave home for a care community. Here's what they said:

  1. Care needs. "When his needs became more than I was able to do."
  2. Wandering. "Mom was going for walks and getting lost."
  3. Falls. "A broken hip on the stairs."
  4. Medication problems. "Hoarding pain medication."
  5. Dementia symptoms. "Inability to control hallucinations and manic behaviors due to dementia."

One family caregiver pointed out that a hospitalization for more than a month could be a tipping point as well, and resulted in her loved one not being able to turn over in bed and, as such, could not return home.

According to Margaret Gillis, President at the International Longevity Centre Canada, there is a diverse range of options available when it comes to providing support for seniors as they decide whether to stay or leave home. However, it is crucial to remember that seniors have the right to self-fulfillment, opportunity and new challenges in all aspects of life, just like everyone else.

For more information about how to keep an older adult safe and out of the hospital, contact your local Home Instead Senior Care office.

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Last revised: February 26, 2019

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