There are a number of milestones in life that everyone strives for. Graduation, marriage, parenthood — these are markers in life most of us aim for. But one of the most impressive, and often most elusive, milestones is that of living comfortably into one’s 80s or 90s. Being an octogenarian or nonagenarian can feel like the cherry on top of a life well lived, but many seniors who hit 90 find it increasingly difficult to keep their standard of living as they continue to age.
Research has definitively shown that those who maintain strong connections to family, friends, and even to work and hobbies, remain healthier well into old age. The most obvious and least speculative way to stay healthy deep into one’s senior years is by keeping active and engaged. Called “active aging” by Charles Reynolds, professor of geriatric neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre, physical and mental exercise reduce health risks and prolong muscle and brain activity — most notably in people over the age of 80.
“Even small activities can have a significant impact. Gardening or walking are examples of physical activities that can keep people’s activity levels up, and playing games or recounting stories are examples of healthy mental activities.” says Lee Grunberg, President & CEO, Integracare Inc.
As seniors age into their 80s and even their 90s, proper healthcare becomes as much a concern as active living. This is why it is so important that seniors find the right health care solution — one that benefits them both physically and psychologically.
When it comes to healthcare, most people prefer to age in place wherever possible, and prefer in-home care. In-home care allows a senior to receive medical help and aid with daily tasks, while also remaining in the home that they are familiar and comfortable with.
Home healthcare professionals can be there when family can’t. Caregiving from a distance can be a challenge, but having a home healthcare professional nearby to assess safety risks and make corrections in the home can provide considerable peace of mind. In-home services often allow aging seniors to receive day-to-day help with much-needed personal care, which maintains good health and also preserves quality of life and dignity.
“Home healthcare professionals can and should do more than simply assist with activities of daily living (often called ADLs) which can include simple tasks like laundry, or bathing and grooming. Home healthcare professionals can also provide help with diet and nutrition, as well as provide caring companionship focused on promoting joyful living.” says Grunberg.
Aging adults can keep their minds active and even fend off neurodegenerative diseases — such as Alzheimer’s — through social interaction and communication. Home healthcare providers can become trusted companions. Walks, meals, games, movies, and other social activities provide added benefits above and beyond basic medical care.
In-home care from a full-service provider allows clients in their 80s and 90s to remain active and engaged with their family in an environment in which they are the most comfortable. An in-home care provider registered with the Canadian Home Care Association, such as Toronto’s Integracare employs fully-trained personal support workers and registered nursing staff and offers a wide suite of care options that allow seniors to maintain independence and control over their routines and their lives.
When considering home healthcare providers, look for a service that provides the following:
- Highly-trained, well-educated staff supported by 24/7 registered nursing supervision
- High quality collaborative and customized care plans developed in tandem with clients, their families, and their provider
- Care that fosters independence, joyful living and comfort for clients
- One-on-one focus and support.
For many families, a home healthcare specialist can be the key to help manage and balance caregiving responsibilities and prevent caregiver burnout — offering seniors the comfort, care, and communal engagement they deserve well into their 90s.
Integracare provides high-quality, comprehensive private nursing and in-home support services. Integracare specialists develop individualized care plans, make regular supervisory calls and have registered nursing supervision for all caregivers 24/7, and provide support for both the client and their caregivers.