Aging In Place: Dignity And Independence For Seniors

There is a great debate about living arrangements in old age. Many spend their twilight years in a nursing home with a full staff of professionals. Others stay in their own homes with help from a home care aide. Everyone is free to choose based on their needs and preferences. Over the years, more seniors are opting to remain at their residences as it affords them benefits that they cannot get elsewhere. In this article, we discuss the advantages of aging in place, the tasks that a home care aide can perform, and the downsides of living in a nursing home.

Studies show that about 90% of people over the age of 65 would rather stay at home than go to a specialized facility for seniors. Some may have to make the difficult choice of moving to an assisted living facility or a nursing home due to medical or safety reasons, but the overwhelming majority want to age in place for as long as they can. It is now more feasible than ever thanks to the emergence of convenient services. For those who are on the fence about it, consider the following advantages of aging in place:


Lower Cost

Most seniors have already retired and are living on their pension or returns on investments. Some may have significant savings but it is impossible to predict with any certainty how long this can last with the high cost of health care. It is prudent to reduce expenses as much as possible and aging in place helps with this goal. Seniors have typically paid off their home mortgages or are close to doing so. They don’t have to pay extra to live where they are. At most, they will only need to shell out for the occasional maintenance and repair. Home care aide services are affordable.

In contrast, those who will move to a nursing home will have to pay nearly $7,000 a month for their semi-private room. That is a hefty $82,000 annual fee that exceeds the average US household income. It would be difficult to maintain this indefinitely, even with the financial assistance of the rest of the family. A private room in an assisted living facility costs less at roughly $3,600 a month or $43,000 a year. However, it is still a large amount of money that could go into instead to medications, daily living expenses, and a better quality of life for seniors.


Greater Comfort

Beyond the financial considerations, nothing beats the comfort of your own home. It is a place that has all the things you have collected throughout the years. You can sit on your favorite chair during the day and sleep on a warm bed during the night. Everything you need is right where you have chosen to store them. You are accustomed to the sounds, the smells, the textures, and the visuals. You wake up and know exactly what to do and where to go. You can make modifications to enhance safety such as installing rails beside the bed, inside the bathroom, and along the hallways.

When moving to a nursing home, everything familiar will be gone. The first few months will be particularly difficult for those who crave their routine and their precious possessions. It is impossible to bring everything into a small space. If staying in a semi-private arrangement, then consider the possibility of not getting along well with the roommates. As already stated, moving to a private room will prove to be extremely expensive. Loud noises, strong smells, and other annoyances may possibly become a problem. Bathrooms may have to be shared with others which can lead to embarrassment or discomfort.


Social Stability

Aging in place means that the elderly can continue to live in their chosen community, along with the people they know and love. If they ever need help, then they can always rely on their neighbors. There may also be friends and family nearby who can drive over to check on them from time to time. Seniors may even host parties or small private gatherings, as well as go to the events hosted by their friends. They can go to their temple or church and interact with all the people there. They can help in charity events and other projects to feel like a valuable member of the community.

Despite getting older, seniors can expand their social group to include other seniors and even those far younger than they are. There are plenty of opportunities for interaction in many communities, including festivals, donation drives, town hall meetings, group exercises, garage sales, birthdays, weddings, workshops, and so on. Most of these gatherings feature great food that is shared by everyone while people chat and catch up. When eating in restaurants, seniors may enjoy discounts to reduce the cost and make the trips outside more sustainable. They may even sign up for classes to learn new things and develop skills such as painting, gardening, knitting, and so much more. They can join book clubs and other local groups that revolve around their interests.


Cognitive Benefits

Cognitive decline is one of the common signs of aging. For example, people become more forgetful as time passes. They may find it hard to remember where they placed items or when they last took their medicines. They could forget their keys when they go out or leave their wallets at home. Eventually, their memories of people and places could fade away as well. While it is almost inevitable, it is possible to slow down cognitive decline. Things like regular exercise, reading books, social connections, and aging in place are all helpful.

Meanwhile, getting plucked out of a familiar environment and moving to a nursing home with strangers can accelerate memory loss. They will be far from surroundings that routinely trigger precious memories. This lack of familiarity can also be a scary situation for many. While there are other seniors and nursing home staff at the new place, they are not the same as the family and friends back home. There is no telling whether they can form strong bonds or not in this environment.



Most workers look forward to retirement as a time of complete freedom. After pushing themselves hard for decades, they can finally relax and do what they want. Being at home gives them full control over their lives. They can set their own schedules and eat their preferred meals. They can leave and travel if they want to. They can try different activities as the mood suits them. They can entertain visitors at any time. They could remodel the house if they wish. They can live with dignity according to their values.

In nursing homes, they will be tied to the group schedule. They will have to eat whatever is served at the institution. They must comply with visiting hours and other restrictions. They cannot simply go out if they want. In other words, they will lose much of their independence and self-determination. Although they will often be able to get help when needed, the loss of freedom may be too high of a price.

How We Can Help

As a nurse-founded registry, we understand that navigating the world of home care can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to provide guidance, support, and personalized solutions to meet your unique needs. Nestled within the vibrant West Boca Medical Center campus, our location enables us to extend our exceptional services to all neighboring communities and neighborhoods.

Whether you’re looking for assistance with daily tasks, specialized care, or simply the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is in good hands, the experienced professional caregivers we match you with are dedicated to helping you every step of the way.

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Tasks a Home Care Aide Can Perform

A lot of seniors can take care of themselves fine. Those who made it a habit to exercise and perform chores are particularly suited to aging in place. If they feel that they need help, then they can get the services of a home care aide as frequently as they wish. Consider hiring one when memory loss and mobility issues become hard to ignore. For example, seniors may leave the stove on after cooking or wander away from home. They may fail to eat nutritious meals and have weight problems. They may be slipping or falling frequently around the house. A home care aide can perform the following tasks:

Aides can help seniors walk around, get up the stairs, and pick up objects they need. Their presence can reduce slips and falls, avoiding costly medical care.

Aides can remind their clients when it is time for exercise. They might provide some assistance to ensure their safety.

They can help in doing chores around the house if seniors are no longer able to do these themselves. For example, they can also assist seniors while eating and cleaning up after the meal.

Mobility issues can prevent seniors from grooming themselves. Aides can assist in bathing, dressing up, and going to the toilet. They will ensure good health and hygiene.

It is common for seniors to take multiple medications every day. It can be hard to keep track of these so aides check the timetable and keep up with doctor’s orders. They can also help seniors follow basic COVID protocols for safety.

Some aides may also be asked to run errands for their clients such as shopping for groceries and picking up prescription medicines.

Aides will often need to monitor their client’s health and report changes to family or physicians. Their constant attention will help in catching problems at the earliest stages.

Aides can provide seniors with regular companionship which is invaluable if they are living alone.

In case of emergency, home care aides can call for outside help and provide pertinent details to get a rapid response.


Problems Often Encountered in Nursing Homes

Nursing homes may be necessary for seniors who need 24/7 medical care from professionals. They may also be considered for people with compromised mobility who live far from their friends and family. However, these facilities are often plagued with issues that go beyond the high cost of care.

Putting people of the same age group together does not guarantee that everyone will get along. Some may not be comfortable with their roommates and requests for transfers may not always be granted.

When moving to a nursing home, a person’s life becomes limited to what happens within that facility. There are few chances to go out because of protocols. Loved ones will have to visit to see them. While most nursing homes will try to provide social activities, these will be limited and may be unsatisfactory for some residents.

The activities available within the nursing home may not suit the preferences of some residents. They may crave doing their old hobbies and talking to their old friends. As such, they might isolate themselves in their rooms and feel depressed.

Some people will be happy to eat whatever is in front of them while others are more discerning. They might prefer certain ingredients and abhor others. They might have strict dietary needs. Nursing homes are not known for serving nutritious and delicious meals.

Although nursing homes advertise themselves as the best solution for round-the-clock medical care, the reality is that they can have staffing issues due to a lack of funding. Residents will not receive sufficient care. They may suffer from infections, bedsores, and other issues because of neglect.

If a nursing home resident is not cooperative, then they may be restrained and fed using a tube despite their protests. They might also be given medications that can change their behavior. If they stayed in their own home, then loved ones can have greater control over their treatment and prevent abuse.

Nursing home residents may face eviction due to non-payment or issues with Medicare. The facility’s administrators may also evict people who are deemed difficult due to frequent complaints or refusal of medical treatments. It is always a good idea to have an alternate plan such as aging in place.

Final Words

Everybody deserves a good home during their old age. Whenever possible, most people prefer to age in place to maintain their dignity and independence. It is also a practical solution in the face of budget constraints. Consider home care for yourself or your loved ones to enjoy multiple advantages over nursing homes.

RN Homecare Services carefully refers seniors with a compassionate compatible home care aide. We serve all of Palm Beach County. Call us at (561) 771-0050 to speak with our professional staff.

Home care aides can provide the necessary support to seniors or a respite for family caregivers. Caregivers commonly assist seniors in performing various tasks associated with the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), including meal preparation, medication reminders, grooming, dressing, light housekeeping, grocery shopping, transportation, and companionship.

Experience reliable senior home care in Palm Beach County

Whether it’s assistance with daily activities, medication management, or companionship, we prioritize enhancing independence and preserving dignity. We provide personalized home care services, where the caregivers we refer treat your loved one as part of their extended family. Trust us to match you with a compassionate caregiver who can provide the support and assistance needed to help your loved one thrive in the comfort and familiarity of their own home.