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5 ways to help your parents live independently

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Has your parent expressed interest in staying in their home as they get older? That wouldn’t be surprising—according to AARP, 87% of older adults want to stay in their current home/community as they age.

This can be difficult because you want to make sure that your parent is safe and comfortable in their home. You might also worry that they won’t be able to financially afford to live at home or fear that they may become lonely or isolated. These concerns are normal however helping your parent age in place comes with numerous health and lifestyle benefits.

1.Encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle

Staying physically fit and maintaining a healthy diet are essential for aging in place. In fact, many older adults report physical health as the biggest road block to living independently. As a family member, you can encourage them to practice healthy habits like:

  • Exercising regularly—Look into an online exercise subscription.Bold is an at-home digital fitness program designed for older adults. Through Bold, your parent can gain access to expert trainers and personalized workout plans that improve strength, flexibility and balance.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet—Nutrition needs change with age as a result of metabolism slowing down and the ability to absorb some nutrients becomes less efficient. MyPlate for Older Adults is a great visual guideline with examples of foods that fit into a healthy, well balanced diet.

2. Connect them to driving services

Transportation plays a huge role in helping your parent maintain their independence. As a key activity of daily life, being able to get around provides a level of flexibility that, as your parent ages, can also become a safety hazard. The realization that it is no longer safe to drive can be incredibly hard for an older adult—they might see it as a clipping of wings.  As a supportive family member, one of the most effective ways to support your parent is to help them find alternative ways of getting around.

Homesharing with a Nesterly Guest is a great way to not only get support around the house, but also help with daily activities like transportation. A guest who has their license could provide driving services to a variety of events/activities including:

  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Community/social events
  • Running errands
  • Religious gatherings

3. Help them stay connected

Social connection is an important way your parent can maintain their independence and overall well-being as they age in place. Loneliness can arise from unmet needs for social interactions and is often a precursor to a host of poor medical and social outcomes.

To help your loved ones maintain their independence, it’s important that they stay involved in their community, connected to family and open to new and meaningful relationships. Nesterly not only provides your parent with a helpful housemate in the event they need urgent support, but it also presents an opportunity for a new friendship, someone to eat dinner with or even a companion to walk around the neighborhood. Hear stories from Nesterly Hosts about their experiences connecting with Guests.

4. Safeguard their home

Studies show that aging in place can help increase longevity for older adults. With that being said, it can also pose some environmental risks. The good news is there are ways to address these risks just by making a few changes to their home.

  • Home updates—simple fixes like adding extra lighting and safety features like grab bars or supports can help prevent future falls. If needed, installing ramps can help with your parent’s mobility. Check out AARP’s list of home updates for now and later.

  • Declutter and organize—if your parent has lived in their home for many years, they’ve likely accumulated a lot of random knick-knacks. Try this exercise to help them free up some space and remove any tripping hazards. While cleaning up, you might realize there’s more space than you thought. Turn that space into extra income for your parent through Nesterly.

5. Make sure they have a rainy day fund

Aging at home can present financial challenges for your parent. Necessary upgrades to your parent’s home come with a price tag and for many older adults, property taxes, utility bills and maintenance costs can pile up. Dipping into retirement savings isn’t always the most sustainable solution.

Homesharing can be a great income stream for your parent as they age in place. Having your parent open their home to a new housemate not only provides physical support (cooking, dog walking, snow shoveling) and social connection, but is also a great way to make passive income. On average, Nesterly Hosts make around $6,000 annually from homesharing.

Learn more about hosting through Nesterly or start your parent’s listing for free, today.

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