The Key to Enhancing Quality of Life in Our Golden Years

Quality in-home care significantly enhances lifestyle in later years by promoting independence, health, and emotional well-being. Proactive planning needs to be undertaken before retirement, safeguarding a comfortable and dignified aging experience.

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The Key to Enhancing Quality of Life in Our Golden Years
6 Min Read May 24th, 2023

As the years go by, it is natural to wonder how we can maintain a vibrant and fulfilling life. For many, the concept of aging can seem daunting. Will our quality of life diminish? Must our physical and mental vigor inevitably wane? Yet, as research continually points out, there's an uplifting counter-narrative: With the right approach, access to quality care, and appropriate family support, our later years can be some of our best years.

A crucial ingredient to this positive aging recipe is access to high-quality care. So many of us will need help with routine daily living activities due to the frailty of aging, chronic illnesses, problems with mobility, and accidents.

A substantial number of Americans are dependent on well-meaning but untrained and unprepared family members for their care. Despite earnest efforts, these family caregivers often fail to deliver the desired level of care. Additionally, due to work commitments and other family responsibilities, the investment of time required to provide sustained care for an aging parent is not feasible.

Many other Americans rely on Medicaid, which provides long-term health care for those with little or no income and assets. However, much of that care is delivered in a nursing home, the last place most people will ever want to be in. 

Other families use Long-Term Care Insurance, or their own income and assets, to pay for long-term care services. Quality care, be it in-home care, adult day care centers, assisted living facilities, memory care facilities, and nursing homes, are expensive. Generally, quality care is more costly but benefits the overall quality of life of the care recipient. 

Quality Care Improves Quality of Life

Access to quality in-home care can play a pivotal role in maintaining and enhancing the quality of life for care recipients. Dwight Smith, the franchise owner of Amada Senior Care in the Toledo, Ohio, area and in the Columbus, Ohio area, says the proper in-home care will provide support for maintaining a healthy social life, following a balanced diet, and adhering to an exercise routine. He says the proper in-home care can foster a sense of independence and confidence, even into advanced age.

Smith is reminded of an 85-year-old woman Amada was providing in-home care for who was living a sedentary lifestyle to match her boyfriend's. Once her friend passed away, she started eating healthier and socializing. She also began physical therapy exercises through one of our private-duty concierge partners. This eventually led to her enjoying weekly Pilates and yoga sessions.  

With these healthier habits and pursuits, she is enjoying a later life in which she feels more comfortable, confident, and independent. She is also much happier than she has been in previous years.

Diet and Companionship 

A vibrant social life is an essential factor for emotional well-being. In-home care providers can assist in arranging and coordinating social interactions, from hosting visitors at home to transporting the care recipient to community events or social gatherings. They can also provide companionship, helping prevent feelings of loneliness or isolation.

A well-balanced diet is another critical aspect of health, particularly in the later years. In-home care professionals can help ensure that recipients get the proper nutrients to meet their specific health needs. If required, this can involve meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, and even feeding assistance. 

By ensuring that a care recipient maintains a healthy diet, in-home care providers can help prevent malnutrition, promote overall health, and support the energy levels necessary for social and physical activities.

Smith says that for many of the people they care for who are living with a chronic condition, having a kind and compassionate caregiver delivers medicine to the soul that boosts the enjoyment of their later years. 

Activity Benefits Physical and Mental Health

Exercise also plays a vital role in physical and mental health. Staying active is key to maintaining and enhancing physical health in the later years, and this is where quality in-home care can make a significant difference. In-home care providers can assist with devising and implementing exercise routines that are safe, enjoyable, and tailored to the individual's capabilities and needs. 

Regular movement can help maintain strength and mobility, manage chronic conditions, and enhance mood. An in-home caregiver can help develop and supervise a safe and effective exercise routine, keeping in mind the individual's health status and abilities. This can range from gentle stretches and walks around the neighborhood to more structured activities like chair yoga or resistance exercises.

The benefits of staying active go beyond just physical health; they extend to mental health as well. Regular physical activity is linked to improved mood and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, largely due to the release of 'feel good' chemicals like endorphins during exercise. In-home caregivers can also facilitate cognitive exercises, such as puzzles, memory games, or even learning new skills, to keep the mind sharp and engaged. 

The National Institute on Aging, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, produced a brochure, "EXERCISE & PHYSICAL ACTIVITY FOR HEALTHY AGING GET FIT FOR LIFE," that states exercise is key to healthy aging. 

Physical activity can make your muscles stronger, increase your heart rate, improve your balance, and stretch your muscles, just to name a few benefits. Try all 4 types of exercise for the most benefit: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.

Staying Social

In addition, the social interaction that comes with engaging with a caregiver or participating in community activities can combat feelings of loneliness and isolation. This holistic approach to active living can help older individuals maintain a high quality of life and enjoy their later years with a sense of joy, dignity, and purpose.

By supporting social interactions, promoting a healthy diet, and encouraging regular exercise, quality in-home care can create a positive environment that nurtures independence and confidence. 

Individuals who can help manage their day-to-day activities, engage with others, and take care of their health are more likely to maintain a positive outlook and enjoy their golden years to the fullest. The right in-home care provider can help the care recipient full more in control of their life. 

In-home care isn't just about meeting physical needs; it's about promoting a holistic, healthy lifestyle that acknowledges and nurtures the care recipient's individuality and autonomy.

Are You Prepared for Aging?

Quality care is something you and your loved ones deserve and expect. As you plan for your future retirement, have you thought about how you and your family would address your aging and long-term health care needs?

One way to do this is by incorporating Long-Term Care Insurance into your retirement strategy. This form of insurance can help cover the costs of a variety of services not covered by regular health insurance, such as in-home care, adult day care centers, assisted living, or nursing home care. 

With LTC Insurance, you can ensure access to high-quality care services when needed, thus allowing you to age comfortably and confidently while preserving your independence, often at home.

In addition to ensuring access to quality care, Long-Term Care Insurance plays a crucial role in protecting your income and assets. The costs of long-term care can be significant and, without proper planning, can quickly erode your retirement savings. 

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By securing Long-Term Care Insurance, you help safeguard your hard-earned assets from being consumed by future long-term care expenses. This not only helps protect your financial independence but also provides peace of mind for you and your loved ones. It supports your vision of a secure and comfortable retirement with your choice of quality care when you need it.

The ideal time to get LTC Insurance is when you are in your 40s or 50s as part of retirement planning.

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About the Author

Linda is a freelance writer interested in retirement planning, health and aging.

LTC News Contributor Linda Kople

Linda Kople

Contributor since October 31st, 2017

Editor's Note

Chronic health issues and the aging process don't follow a set timetable; they can begin at varying ages for different individuals. Some may face health challenges in their early 40s, while others might remain hale and hearty well into their 70s and beyond.

Considering this unpredictability, it's prudent to start planning for long-term care early. The sweet spot for investing in Long-Term Care Insurance typically falls in your 40s or 50s. During this period, you're more likely to enjoy relatively good health, which not only makes approval more likely but also means you'll be able to lock in lower premium rates.

Starting early ensures you're prepared for whatever the future may hold, providing peace of mind and financial protection.

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