6 ways to help your elderly loved one stay in their own home for longer

Home is where the heart is. It’s where lives are lived, memories are made, and where most of us feel at our happiest and most comfortable. As we age, it’s no wonder many of us want to stay living at home for as long as possible. 

Many older people also do better when staying in their own home rather than in a residential home. It can increase the feeling of independence and familiarly, help couples stay together and even ensure family pets are kept with their owner.

Here we share several things you can do to help increase the chances of your elderly loved one being able to ‘age in place’ and stay in their own home.

1. Pitch in around the house

As people age, it can be harder for them to keep on top of regular household chores like cleaning, tidying, cooking, taking out the rubbish, doing the dishes, and washing clothes. If you live nearby and have time to spare, popping round to help keep your loved one’s house in order can make a real difference. 

Many of us are too busy keeping on top of our own overwhelming to-do list, and many also live too far from loved ones to just ‘pop in’. If that’s the case, consider finding a local companion for your loved one, to help with household tasks. 

2. Help with shopping

Loo roll. Lightbulbs. Food. Medicine. It can be tricky for elderly people to keep their home well stocked with all the groceries and other necessities they need to keep their days running smoothly and their stomach well fed. It can be even tougher for people who aren’t used to or able to shop online. 

Taking care of the shopping is an impactful way to help your loved one live at home for longer. If you can’t head to the supermarket for them or set up a regular online shop on their behalf, reach out to a local companion and let them look after your relative’s shopping.

3. Prepare meals

Sadly a high proportion of elderly people are affected by malnutrition often due to illness, mental health issues and mobility. If you notice that your loved one is losing weight, it could be a sign that they're not eating properly. 

Help your loved one to maintain a healthy, balanced diet by bulk cooking meals that you can keep in the freezer. You can also stock their kitchen with simple snacks and ingredients such as sandwich fillers, pasta and soup. 

4. Make sure their home is safe

Everyone needs to live in a safe environment. Keep your loved one well and give yourself peace of mind by doing your bit to make sure their home is as free from risks and hazards as possible. You could add support rails in the bathroom, make other accessible adaptations like steps and handles, add lighting, and ensure there’s nothing your loved one might slip on or trip over. 

Many of the companions in our community are used to safeguarding older people’s homes in exactly these kinds of ways. They can also check in on your loved one regularly, to make sure they’re safe and well.

5. Get your loved one out, about, and active

If they’re keen on living at home for longer, your loved one will likely need to get outside! Staying active and getting plenty of fresh air and exercise is key to remaining happy and healthy in older age. 

Where possible, take your loved one for walks and encourage them to keep moving by going to seniors’ swim, aerobics or dance classes. A local companion can also do their bit to keep your loved one active. You can even look for someone with a love and flair for sport and fitness, to really keep them your relative on their toes!

6. Keep them connected and inspired

Social interaction is powerful. It helps combat loneliness, depression and even dementia, keeping your loved one connected to the outside world, a variety of people, and fresh, new ideas. That’s why it’s important to visit your loved one as often as you can and to do whatever you can to facilitate their friendships with others. 

We can all feel the pressure, though. The responsibility should never rely solely on you. By arranging companionship for your loved one, you can rest assured they have someone else to chat to and create memories with. Whether it’s a day out or a cup of tea in the living room, it all helps to keep your loved one ageing in place so they can enjoy their home for longer.

Looking for a companion for your loved one?

If your loved one is keen to stay living in their own home, why not boost their chances by finding them a companion to help them around the house, lend a hand with grocery shopping, keep them fit and active, and provide all-important social opportunities? Download the companiions app and sign up to arrange companionship for a loved one, or even yourself. 

Find out more about how to support your loved ones including our tips for motivating the elderly and signs that they may need support.