Long-term care planning may involve aging in place with home health services. Living at home may sound appealing, but being housebound has some disadvantages, as well.
The New York State Department of Health provides information about various home care services that can make it possible for people to live at home longer if they decide that is the best option for them.
The state certifies home health aides and home health agencies. In addition to basic health care, a physician may call for a licensed social worker to identify and manage social issues that medical conditions may cause. This can improve the quality of life for those who are housebound. Service providers may also include a housekeeper or homemaker, a home health aide and a dietitian.
There are also services in place through the state to fill nonmedical needs, such as housekeeping, bathing, dressing, cooking and shopping.
With this level of care, living alone may be within reach for many people. However, Home Health Care News reports that studies reveal some challenges to home care systems.
More than half of the older adults in one study said they would prefer to receive treatment for serious health conditions at a hospital. People felt that home treatment invaded their privacy or served as a constant reminder of their poor health.
Aging in place can also restrict social opportunities. Some people do not get along with caregivers or have bad experiences that make them reluctant to interact with others. People whose family members play an active role in their life may not have this issue.
The home environment itself may be an issue if it does not have the necessary adaptations for safety. However, there are many ways to pay for these and other expenses if aging in place is the right decision, particularly when people set up estate plans in the years before they need services.