Services that help seniors stay in their homes
By Carrie Napoleon For Sun-Times Media
Sharing time: Comfort Keepers caregivers look to not only prepare meals for clients but also spend time with them as part of their services. | Supplied photo
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There is no place like home.
Dorothy may have wished it first in the Wizard of Oz but it is a sentiment that rings true for Americans from all walks of life.
Seniors are no exception and businesses like Comfort Keepers help make that wish come true for many.
“Over 80 percent of seniors would prefer to stay in their home as opposed to move to a facility or some other option,” said Charlie Moore, owner of the Comfort Keepers franchises in LaPorte and Portage.
But the challenges of age can make that difficult for some seniors without a little extra assistance.
At seniors’ service
Many seniors turn to their adult children for that assistance, but for some of those offspring, providing the extra care mom or dad needs is difficult.
About 30 percent of adult children live more than six hours away from their parents, Moore said. Two income households also mean more of those adult children are relying on two incomes within a household so they are working and unable to provide the amount of day-to-day care an aging parent may need to stay independent.
“Seniors often don’t have the support network they need,” Moore said.
That’s where Comfort Keepers comes in. Moore has been helping to make staying at home longer a reality for the past 10 years by providing home-care services for seniors and adults that include homemaking, companionship, meal preparation and transportation, among others.
Comfort Keepers is a state-licensed personal services agency whose staff of 55 caring professionals can assist clients with the activities of daily living including bathing, grooming, dressing, mobility and medication reminders. The business also offers a variety of technological assistance, from medical emergency alerts to increased safety.
Clients are able to obtain as few or as many services as they need to help them retain their independence and safely stay in their homes in their twilight years.
“Our philosophy of interactive caregiving means we engage our clients to the highest level that they are capable. We don’t just provide services, we actively involve the client,” Moore said.
Staffers, many who are retired themselves from careers in the health-care field, involve each client in their own care. For example, if a client likes to cook but is no longer capable of lifting a heavy pot or pan, Comfort Keepers personnel will help the client with the parts of meal preparation they can no longer accomplish alone, while allowing them to make as much of the meal as possible.
He advises people to be proactive in planning for later-in-life care for themselves or their parents instead of waiting for a crisis to initiate the search. Knowing what types of services exist and how they may fit in with an individual’s needs and lifestyle will make that care more effective and will help keep that individual in their home.
“Two-thirds of people over 65 need long-term care at some point in their lifetime,” Moore said. “It’s important to research ahead and at least know what your options may be.”
Moore said demand for these types of services will only increase as the population continues to age, live longer and expect more out of their retirement years.
The first round of baby boomers began entering retirement age in January 2011 and have been doing so in record numbers ever since. About 8,000 to 10,000 Americans a day for the next 19 years will be making that transition, Moore said. By the year 2050, one in 20 Americans will be over the age of 85.
“As you see more and more baby boomers retire, they will be much more active in their retirement than their parents and they are going to be much more demanding for the services they require,” Moore said.
More information about Comfort Keepers is at (219) 362-9800 or (219) 763-9898.