The desire to age in place – in your own home – was reinforced earlier this year in interviews InnovAge held with older adults and their family caregivers. The fears about being able to do so, and finding appropriate help when needed, were top of mind.
Older adults are worried about the loss of independence and freedom that can come with aging, including reduced mobility and a lack of control over their own destiny. There was also concern about being a burden to children or other family members. “The golden years? These are more like the rusty years,” commented one senior.
At the same time, seniors expressed a strong desire to remain independent for as long as possible. Avoiding a nursing home was at the top of the list of priorities related to aging, followed closely by staying in their own home. “I want to be in my home, with my stuff. I made this and created it and I want to live in it and with it as long as I can.”
When help is needed, either through the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly
or another option, both caregivers and their loved ones shared a need to see happy people working in the facilities, enjoying themselves. Also, an interesting distinction was made between receiving care and caring.
One person said, “Caring is about touch – about showing me that you’re listening to me.” Others explained that caring looks like true attentiveness, compassion, and concern, expressed through touch, listening, and conversation.
Stay tuned for more posts on what we learned from seniors and caregivers as part of the project.