Finding Help To Live Independently In Your Home

By Eileen Doherty, MS ~

Denver, CO – In the United States, nine out of ten older adults want to continue to live independently, preferably in their own home. Continuing to live in one’s own home is dependent on many things. 

If you want to age in place, you should consider making your home older adult-friendly.  This might include installing technology devices to make your home more like a “smart home” with voice and smartphone supports such as doorbells with videos, lights that turn on with a voice command, and a robot vacuum cleaner.  

Other changes might include remodeling bathrooms, moving laundry facilities to the main floor, installing ramps, and rearranging kitchen gadgets and cooking utensils.

The Colorado Gerontological Society is offering a series of educational programs to offer tips and help to older adults who want to continue to age in place and live independently in their homes. You can register at www.senioranswers.org to attend the free zoom sessions throughout 2022.  Recordings are also available on our YouTube channel.

Older adults who want to age in place, also need to consider what services can be provided by family and friends.  Some older adults have family members in Colorado who may be able to provide support, especially with the law that was recently approved by Colorado voters.

The Colorado Family Medical Leave Program will start in 2024. Family members can take up to 12 weeks off work and be reimbursed up to 90% of their wages for a portion of the leave to provide care and support to an older family member.  The employee is guaranteed employment with the company without losing their position, salary, and benefits.

Many older adults may often find themselves looking for help from home care agencies.  A Class A home health agency provides skilled care such as nursing services, therapy, and medical supports. These services are usually paid for by Medicare and may require a three-day hospital stay.

 A Class B home care agency can provide help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, shopping, cooking, and cleaning. These services are usually paid for privately.  Depending on income and need, Medicaid may pay for these services through the Home and Community Based Services program.

Finding reputable agencies that are affordable and provide services in your area can be challenging.  The Society offers a searchable database, the Housing and Home Care Locator, at www.senioranswers.org.  By using the online Locator, a statewide comprehensive listing of all licensed facilities can help you narrow your search. A print copy of the Colorado Senior Resource Guidebook will be available later this year in local libraries. 

To talk with a counselor, order a Guidebook, or for help in navigating the website or the YouTube channel, call 303-333-3482 or 1-855-293-6911 (toll-free) or 1-866-880-4777 (Spanish). 

Eileen Doherty

Eileen Doherty

Eileen Doherty, MS is the Executive Director of the Colorado Gerontological Society.  Her areas of expertise include management and administration of nonprofit organizations, education and training on issues related to older adults, advocacy and policy development on senior issues, and clinical practice in working with seniors and families to manage their lives in the later years. She has been the Director of the Society since 1982.  She teaches Nonprofit Management for Fort Hays State University.

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