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Ways to Help an Older Adult Age in Place


According to a survey conducted by AARP, 90 percent of seniors hope to remain in their homes as they get older. This is called “aging in place.” However, the survey also showed that only around 43 percent of people aged 70 and older thought it was “very easy” to remain at home. Two out of ten older adults said that they are unable to live alone without some sort of assistance. If your aging relative wants to continue to live independently in their home, there are several things that can help make that possible.

Safety equipment

Many older adults worry about being safe alone in their homes. They may worry about being targeted for crime. Or, they may worry that they’ll become ill or injured while alone and be unable to get help. In today’s world of technology, there are many options that can make seniors feel safer at home. Some equipment that might be useful is:

  • Security Cameras: Security cameras can allow older adults to see when someone or something is outside the house without opening the door. They can also be a deterrent to criminals.
  • Personal Alarms: There are several companies that offer personal alarms for older adults to get help when needed. Usually, the senior wears a necklace or bracelet with a button on it that they can push if they fall or become ill.
  • Smart Doorbells: A smart doorbell uses WiFi to allow a home owner to see who is at the door. They are usually linked to a smartphone and have both video and audio capabilities. Having a smart doorbell allows the older adult to see who is at the door without taking the risk of opening it to a stranger.

Changes to the home

For many older adults, a few changes to the home can make it easier and safer to live in. Grab bars and handrails can prevent falls. A ramp can make getting in and out of the house less of a chore for seniors who use canes, walkers, or wheelchairs. Additional lighting can assist those with vision problems to see better. Different handles on doors and faucets can make them easier for older adults who are weak or arthritic to use.

Family support

Many older adults receive help from family members to remain in their homes. Approximately 34.2 million people in the United States provide informal care to people aged 50 or older. Some of the things family caregivers do for their aging relatives are:

  • Shopping
  • Cooking meals
  • Cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Providing transportation
  • Assist with daily activities of living, like eating, dressing, and grooming

Home Care

Home care is an excellent option that aids both older adults and their sometimes overwhelmed family caregivers. Home care providers can assist with nearly every task a family member can. Home care providers can:

  • Do light house cleaning
  • Wash, dry, and fold laundry
  • Take the older adult grocery shopping
  • Drive the senior to appointments, social gatherings, stores, and restaurants
  • Assist with bathing, toileting, grooming, dressing, and eating
  • Cook healthy meals

In addition, home care also provides older adults with companionship, giving them someone to talk to and spend time with. Home care providers can even do activities with the older adult, like playing a board game or cards, assisting with a craft, or reading to them.

About Linda Kunicki, CMP, Marketing Director

linda-kunicki-brightstar-careLinda has been with BrightStar Care of Chicago and BrightStar Care of La Grange since 2013. Her background includes a lengthy tenure in health care as well as a strong business background. While her primary focus has been management, training and marketing, Linda has taken on and succeeded at roles in Sales, Human Resources, and Project Management. Every position she’s had has allowed her to fulfil her passion to service others from children to seniors, which gives her joy each day. Her experience has led her to being on the board of the Chicago Chapter of the Case Management Society of America for multiple terms and serving on many committees for Aging Care Connections and local Health and Wellness groups.

Linda’s pathway to BrightStar began as being the caregiver for her mother and grandmother. Her personal experience has given her perspective into the growing need for high quality care in our society, from pediatrics to senior citizens. And she takes great pride in the Gold Seal of the Joint Commission Accreditation earned by BrightStar. It confirms her decision to make this company her employer of choice.

Linda has also owned Shetland Sheepdogs aka Shelties most of her life. For many years, she has been involved in activities with Shelties that have guided her to earn championship and performance titles on many of her own dogs and help others do the same.

Linda’s favorite quote:

“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Zigler

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring in-home care in Chicago, IL, or the La Grange, IL areas, please contact the caring staff at BrightStar Care Chicago. Call today: 312-382-8888 or 708-551-2500