Charlotte, North Carolina – Aging at home is certainly a viable option for many seniors, but what about when it’s not the safest, healthiest or most cost-effective option for a person’s situation? According to Genworth, after age 65, there is nearly a 7% chance a senior will need some form of senior care. A study of 2,560 LGBTQ adults aged 50 to 95 across the US by author Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen, professor at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work, found that the LGBTQ participants had greater rates of disability, depression, and loneliness compared with heterosexuals of similar ages. The idea of aging at home may not be realistic for some, thus making it all the more important to know what senior housing options are available.
It’s important for seniors and their families to consider three common concerns associated with aging at home: safety, health and costs. Knowing senior housing options can help alleviate anxieties. According to SAGE, in the LGBTQ community, “Self-care is frequently more difficult for LGBT elders because they are much more likely to live on their own, have fewer financial resources, and don’t necessarily trust their health care providers to treat them from a place of cultural competency.” Staying safe at home can be challenging and dangerous for many older adults, which means people must learn to recognize the signs that indicate it’s no longer a safe option. Here are some signs. Regarding medication mismanagement are there mistakes with dosage and timing? Is there evidence of fires or has there been falls? Is it difficult to access upstairs bedrooms and showers?
Although many in the LGBTQ community have created social support networks, social isolation is prevalent amongst the senior LGBTQ population which can lead to depression, mental and physical health issues, and even mortality. Many LGBTQ seniors do not have children or support from blood family members to help them as they get older. When staying at home is no longer the best option, senior housing communities such as assisted living may work. They provide three nutritional meals daily, a social life, companionship and wellness opportunities; the sense of community, friendship, and activity boost mental and emotional health. (Theresa Robertson is a Certified Senior Advisor and senior housing specialist with Oasis Senior Advisors.) t (Q Notes Online – Theresa Robertson at Goqnotes.com/64036/aging-at-home/)