Senior Retirement Homes Should Be a Last Resort

Senior Retirement Homes Should Be a Last Resort

One thing that has become abundantly clear from the Covid-19 debacle is that senior retirement homes should be a last resort. By 2030, seniors will most likely be the second largest demographic in the world. All the baby boomers on the way to their golden years should be paying attention to what’s going on.

Half of the Covid-19 deaths in Canada have been centered around senior care facilities. According to the statistsa website, as of April 27, seniors 60-69 accounted for 2,708 deaths in Italy and it got worse as the ages increased.

The age group 70-79 accounted for 7,191 deaths and 80-89 10,050 deaths. Most of them happened in senior care facilities. As a matter of fact, about half of Covid-19 deaths in Europe and North America appear to be happening in care homes.

It has finally become crystal clear how badly some seniors are treated in some care facilities. It’s also becoming clear that the people running some retirement homes around the world are in it for the money and the less they can spend on caring for the seniors, the better.

There are some homes demanding $5000 a month for the privilege of having a small room or apartment and three meals a day. Worse yet, in many cases, the people hired to look after the seniors are underpaid and under-appreciated.

It got so bad from a safety standpoint when dealing with Covid-19 that many of the workers just walked out and abandoned the seniors because they were too poorly equipped to deal with the virus. In Spain, and other countries as well, some seniors were left to fend for themselves and many died alone in their room.

Certainly, there are excellent retirement facilities out there and you can’t paint them all with the same brush, but the number of care facilities that fall short of providing proper care for seniors is staggering. Even Spain. A country proud of how they hold their senors in high esteem is beginning to realize they have some serious soul-searching to do when it comes to caring for seniors.

STAY IN YOUR OWN HOME AS LONG AS YOU CAN

This should most definitely be a wake-up call for those nearing their golden years. First of all, it’s time to take better care of yourself. Many of the seniors who died had underlying medical issues and compromised immune systems. Most likely they had to leave the family home because they simply were unable to look after themselves.

Not all, but a large portion of medical issues are caused by poor lifestyle choices. People living in the Blue Zones of the world are living proof that you can be 90 or 100 years old and be totally independent. They eat smart and everything they do in the course of a regular day helps them stay fit. They look after their homes and gardens, climb the hills and mountains caring for their sheep and goats, and walk everywhere.

Senior Retirement Homes Should Be a Last Resort
Everyday life keeps the people of the Sardinia Blue Zone healthy

There is very little in the way of modern conveniences and do their cooking the old-fashioned way. No bread makers for them. They make it by hand and do the kneading themselves instead of letting an appliance do it. There are no gyms in sight in the Blue Zones, yet most of the inhabitants are extremely fit because of their lifestyle choices.

In most cases they have no need for retirement homes as family members will help them out.

Here are a few quotes from an article in Next Avenue that explains how the inhabitants of Sardinia, one of the Blue Zones, are dealing with the pandemic.

In Sardinia, like most other Blue Zones, very few of the oldest residents live alone in nursing homes, which are virus hot spots in the United States and most of the world for that matter. Here, many families of two or three generations live under the same roof or within walking distance of one another.

It appears that some reasons Blue Zone Sardinians are able to live vitally into their 80s, 90s, and 100s may be helping them stave off COVID-19 — and sustaining them during their country’s lockdown.

Strong, local family bonds, as well as a penchant for purposeful work that involves exercise, are signposts of the Blue Zones and the older residents of Sardinia exemplify them.

HOW TO LIVE LONGER IN YOUR OWN HOME

Absolutely the most important first step is to pay attention to what’s best for your health and well-being. Diet and exercise are two of the key components for fighting off health issues that plague seniors as they age.

Senior Retirement Homes Should Be a Last Resort
Eating healthy foods is key to a long life.

It’s pretty common knowledge that a well-rounded, healthy diet will go a long way to minimizing the risk of having to deal with debilitating health problems. Obesity, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, and even dementia can be avoided or at least the risk reduced by making healthy lifestyle choices.

Wouldn’t you rather be an 80 or 90-year-old who is quite capable both mentally and physically of looking after yourself without having to leave the family home for some sort of care center option? It’s not that impossible, and it’s never too late to begin laying the groundwork for not just longevity, but the quality of life as well.

Loneliness is a huge issue for seniors and many studies appear to show that seniors who are lonely and ignored will quite often die sooner than seniors who have companionship and plenty of activities to keep them busy and connected.

There is a way to get around the loneliness issue.

SHARE YOUR HOME

If you live in a house by yourself, why not find a like-minded senior (or seniors) to share your home with you? This home-sharing option has worked very well in some countries.

By having seniors sharing a home loneliness is no longer a problem. Also, in the event there is some sort of emergency there is always help nearby. Most things are more enjoyable when shared with others.

Senior Retirement Homes Should Be a Last Resort
Staying fit is key to the quality of life and longevity.

Going on day trips together, exercising, or sharing meals are three good examples of the advantage of having seniors share a living space. They can also share in the cost of maintaining the home as well as everyday tasks like cooking and cleaning.

The best part is that having others to share your life with will most likely mean that a senior can avoid moving into some sort of retirement home setting for a much longer period(if at all) and instead can age in place.

SERVICES TO HELP SENIORS

In the past decade or so things have really changed as far as services available for seniors that can make their lives easier. Here are some available services that just might enable you to stay in your home longer.

  • Uber- If you need a ride to the supermarket or doctor’s appointment just call Uber. In most cases, Uber is cheaper than a taxi and they tend to get to your destination much faster than a taxi
  • I Am Fine- This is a pretty handy service. Once you sign up with I Am Fine they will call you at a prearranged time every day and check that everything is okay. Any time they cannot get a response from you they will get in touch with the people on your contact list. It might be family, friends, or a neighbor,
  • Home Bistro- If you are interested in excellent meals shipped right to your door Home Bistro is a great choice for chef-prepared meals.
  • Medical Alert- If you are at home or busy outside and have a medical emergency, Medical Alert is a great option. Once alerted that you have a problem they will get help for you.
  • Pet Sitters- If you have a pet but need help with it in the event you are planning on being away from home there are house and pet sitters for hire in most cities.
  • Gardening and Lawn Care- If you need help with your yard there are many gardens and lawn care services available.

CONCLUSION

Rather than take your chances with retirement or care home it would be in your own best interest to stay in your own home for as long as you can.

Retirement communities can be costly, and there is really no way of knowing what sort of care you will be getting. With so many senior care centers in the news lately for shoddy practices, it makes perfect sense to stay in your home and age in place if at all possible.

Taking care of your health and well-being will enable you to be self-sufficient well into your golden years. Being as fit as possible will ward off, or at least reduce the chance of contracting one of the many diseases that seniors often have to contend with,

There are many services available for seniors that can make life easier so why not take advantage of them and be the master of your own fate?

Would you like to share your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

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