Where do you see yourself in the future? If you’re like most Canadians today, you picture living out your golden years at home.
Some 91% of Canadians of all ages told the National Institute of Ageing (NIA) they want to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible. For those Canadians who are currently 65 and over, this number jumps to nearly 100%.
Switching gears from the national to provincial scene, Seniors in Ontario have similar opinions. In a survey conducted on behalf of Home Care Ontario, 91% of Ontario Seniors revealed they want to stay in their home or apartment for as long as possible.
In other words, virtually all Canadians expect to age in place instead of living in a retirement community or nursing home.
The question then becomes, how many Canadians will achieve this goal? Here at Integracare, we believe in-home health care services make aging in place in Ontario possible for nearly all Seniors.
Integracare is committed to making sure you or your loved ones can age safely at home with our home care services in Toronto and Mississauga. What independent and safe living means is different for each Client, which is why we provide a sliding scale of companionship, nursing care, and medical services.
What does aging in place mean for you or your loved one? This guide answers this top-of-mind question and more below.
What is Aging in Place?
Aging in place is easiest to define by what it’s not. It’s a life where you won’t move to an assisted living facility or long-term nursing care as your healthcare needs change. Instead, you’ll continue to live in your home as you age.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines aging in place as follows:
“The ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”
On a more practical level, aging in place refers to a conscious plan to stay in your home rather than moving to a retirement community. And like any plan, it requires some deliberate thought.
What do you need to live safely, independently, and comfortably?
This may be an easy question to answer today, but a good plan looks far ahead to a future where your health may look different. You need to plan for contingencies as your mobility, community support, and medical needs evolve.
Here at Integracare, we believe your aging-in-place plan should also make room for joyful living. Our Caregivers provide at-home medical treatment and living assistance, so you can lead a happy, independent life.
What Are the Benefits of Aging in Place?
Aging in place promises the familiarity of living in the home you love, but there are many more benefits to home health care.
A sense of independence is one of the greatest benefits of home health care. You won’t follow someone else’s schedule for meals or activities as you would with other retirement home options. Instead, you get to carry out your usual daily activities on your own time.
Our team of Caregivers include Personal Support Workers (PSWs), Registered Nurses (RNs), Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs), Physiotherapists, and Registered Massage Therapist (RMTs). With professionals like these at our disposal, we can create a personalized care plan to ensure you receive the assistance you need to lead an independent life in and outside your home.
Quality of Life
For many Seniors, independence and personal satisfaction go hand in hand. You’ll feel happier and more at ease aging in the comfort of your own home than if you were to move to a retirement home or long-term care facility.
Joyful aging cannot be overstated as one of the greatest mental health benefits of home health care. It eliminates the anxiety that often comes with moving to a retirement home and giving up control of your daily activities, especially if you’re dealing with illness or aging issues that make you dependent on busy nursing staff.
By contrast, aging in place allows you to live life as you want. You’ll feel better about your choice knowing you have a personal Caregiver available to assist you as your needs evolve.
Aging in place means you don’t have to leave your familiar neighbourhood or the roots you’ve put down in your community. You’ll stay where you’ve always lived, so you won’t have to say goodbye to nearby friends or family.
Home health care is especially important if you or your loved ones live far away from family. Our Caregivers offer companionship and personal support in addition to medical care, and they can help Clients get out and about in their community.
Health and Safety
Our home care services are scalable, with resources that include RNs, RPNs, and PSWs who tend to our Clients’ every need. Many nursing homes can’t match this one-on-one attention, as their staff must split their time between multiple residents, often juggling several tasks at once.
Aging in place in Ontario can be easier on your budget than the alternatives. In many cases, home care in Mississauga and Toronto is more affordable than private retirement homes or long-term care facilities in the GTA.
For more information about our pricing, get in touch today. We can provide a personalized quote that reflects your unique needs, such as hourly home care for assistance with certain activities, physiotherapy, massage therapy, wound care, live-in assistance to provide round-the-clock care, and more.
Home Health Care in Mississauga & Toronto: Who is it For?
One of the biggest misconceptions about home health care is that it’s for a select few Seniors who meet a strict list of requirements.
In reality, home health care in Mississauga and Toronto is available for a broad range of people of varying medical needs.
At Integracare, we provide the best home health care Mississauga has to offer with a team of experienced and compassionate Caregivers. Their range of skills and resources allows us to support your aging-in-place plans, whatever they may look like.
As a comprehensive at-home health care provider, we can support our Clients through these conditions:
- Age-related support needs
- Issues resulting in reduced mobility
- Long-term health concerns
- Consistent care needs
- Disabilities, new and old
- Injuries and wound care
- Palliative care
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia care
Aging in Place for Those Living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia are degenerative diseases that result in memory loss, reduced cognitive abilities, and restricted motor functions. As these symptoms worsen, you or your loved one will require greater care to ensure quality of life.
The complexity of these diseases and their care can mistakenly lead many people to believe aging in place is impossible. They may think people diagnosed with Dementia must eventually transition to a nursing home to receive the care they need.
Here at Integracare, we know this isn’t true. While Dementia drastically changes the level of care you or your loved one requires, it doesn’t prevent you from aging in the comfort of your home.
At Integracare, we have a full suite of home health care services to ensure our Caregivers provide the best Dementia Care Mississauga and Toronto has to offer.
Our partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Toronto (AST), a leader in Dementia care and education, makes our team of PSWs, RPNs, and Live-In Carers uniquely qualified to support Seniors as their diseases progress. You can rest easy knowing you or your loved ones are in capable hands.
How Does Dementia Care Differ from Regular Aging in Place Plans?
For those of us lucky enough to enter our golden years with our health and wits about us, home care services take a supportive role. Our Caregivers provide companionship and assistance on an as-needed basis.
This approach changes when our Clients are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, as these diseases require more hands-on medical attention.
Our at-home Dementia Care in Toronto and Mississauga is a flexible program that evolves alongside the progression of these degenerative diseases. We adapt our level of care and attention to suit our Clients’ ever-changing needs.
At the onset of symptoms, our Caregivers may only help Seniors remember to take their medication or review strategies for coping with the disease. As symptoms progress, our Caregivers scale their services to include assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).
Our PSWs regularly help our Clients with the following ADLs:
- Personal hygiene
- Meal preparation
- Transferring and mobility
People in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s and Dementia may lose enough memory, coordination, and mobility that they need round-the-clock care to avoid accidents. At this point, 24/7 or live in home care may become necessary.
You can expect 24/7, personalized care for loved ones with Dementia. We carefully pick our Caregivers to match not just our Clients’ medical needs, but their personalities, too. With regular check-ins with RNs, we ensure our live-in Caregivers and Clients are well-matched at every step.
However, 24/7 or live-in care is not exclusive to our Clients with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. It’s available to Seniors who need constant care due to injuries, disabilities, and long-term illnesses.
In Dementia’s final stages, our Caregivers also provide palliative care in Toronto and Mississauga. While Alzheimer’s and Dementia don’t always directly lead to end of life, they can make someone more susceptible to other conditions that prove fatal, including heart disease, stroke, and pneumonia.
Palliative care balances our Clients’ medical and emotional needs perfectly with a compassionate approach to home health care. Our qualified Caregivers offer companionship and mental stimulation while providing essential Physiotherapy, Massage Therapy, and medical attention to reduce pain and anxiety at end-of-life.
Planning to Age in Place: Upgrades to Make to Your Home
While growing older in your family home is possible with Integracare, no plan is complete without a few simple renovations. You’ll want to consider accessibility when making these upgrades, as not every home is ready for long-term aging, keeping in mind that your needs and mobility may change in the future.
Aging in place in Canada is easier with the federal Home Accessibility Tax Credit, which is a non-refundable credit of up to $1,500 for eligible expenses.
Here in Ontario, the provincial government also offers the Senior’s Home Safety Tax Credit. This refundable credit is worth 25% of up to $10,000 in eligible renovations.
However, we recommend you explore all your options. There are all kinds of grants and rebates for renovating your home in both Ontario and Canada.
You can use these tax credits to help you make the following smart accessibility upgrades:
Entrances and Stairways:
Even just one step can be challenging if you have reduced mobility or rely on mobility aids, so you’ll want to install ramps and step-free entrances where possible. These will make entering and exiting your home safer. As for staircases you can’t do without, you’ll want to install handrails on both sides of the stairway.
Slick tile and hardwood can create slipping hazards, especially if there’s been a spill. Upgrading your floors to textured, non-slip flooring can help you avoid a nasty fall. Wearing shoes indoors can give your feet extra grip, too.
Not all homes are designed with mobility devices in mind. If you use a walker or wheelchair, you may want to widen doors and hallways to make it easier to move. Removing clutter will also prevent accidents as you navigate your home, whether you use a mobility aid or not.
Another floor plan renovation you may want to execute is making sure your bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen are all on the main floor.
As a Senior, you’ll want to renovate your bathroom to eliminate unnecessary obstacles in your way, like a tall lip to a bathtub. Instead, consider upgrading to a walk-in shower or a tub with a door. Grab bars are also a must to help you navigate these new, slippery spaces.
Do you have to reach on your tippy toes to access shelves? Rather than using a stepladder, consider installing lower shelves. Another good idea is to invest in safety knobs and pulls so that you can easily grip these accessories.
Are You Ready to Age in Place?
Aging in place is something most Canadians want. And here at Integracare, we believe it’s something that you should be able to achieve, no matter your age or health condition.
While complex diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia can complicate your aging-in-place plans, they shouldn’t prevent you from achieving your goals. With the right home care, anyone can age safely in their home.
For more information about our compassionate home care, get in touch soon! We’re ready to help you set your plan in place today!