Older people want to stay living in their own homes

Home is where the heart is. It’s where we feel we belong, we feel safe and where so many memories are made. According to the Productivity Commission the majority of older Australians would strongly prefer to staying in their own homes, rather than move into a retirement or aged care facility. Over threequarters (76%) of over-60s told the Commission they want to see out their retirement in their own home. 83% view home ownership as vital to maintaining independence and financial freedom as they age.

To remain independent and safe living at home, you may need some outside support, even if you have a spouse or family member who provides primary care. I believe that your spouse or family member who provides the primary care needs care and support too.

When my mum’s dementia was advancing and my dad was struggling on his own, I remember the service provider that gave us all life-saving support. It wasn’t just about having practical care. It was a few precious hours when we could all just relax and take a deep breath, knowing we had some back up. We all needed our wellbeing fuel tanks to be refilled regularly so we weren’t running on empty.

In my experience, caring for the carer is crucial. If the carer doesn’t have enough “inner” resources to support their wellbeing, they can’t care for others or cope with the small things that cause stress every day. Partnering with a professional support provider like Just Better Care is an option more and more people are benefiting from.

Care in your home is more flexible and available when you need it. Whatever the level of support you need – from personal care, help around the home, driving, shopping and meals – a community nurse or in-home support worker will fit around your needs and complement a family’s care resources, providing peaceof- mind, while supporting independence. It is all about working alongside you and your family to create a safe and healthy environment at home, surrounded by familiar things and memories.

Many people with high needs also access in-home care. Even if you need roundthe- clock and complex care, you can remain happily living in your own homes. The option to be cared for at home also reduces the pressures on family to make major decisions at a time of crisis. It is not always simply a matter of finding an available place in a suitable residential facility, but also involves big financial considerations and heartbreak of leaving a family home and a community.

In-home care is more than day-to-day practical assistance too. It enables you to remain connected with your communities and social groups. Plus an in-home support professional provides companionship and is a welltrained touchpoint to regularly monitor diet, medication and any changes that come with declining health and mobility.

Home is where love resides, memories are created, and friends belong. It’s natural to want to stay there as long as you can.

Sue Buckle is a registered nurse, and Director of Just Better Care Hills to Hornsby

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