Growing older: it’s something that happens to all of us in the cycle of life. With ageing comes a variety of challenges and transitions. One of the most impacting of these is the individual’s living situation. Will your advancing parent/s move in with you? Stay in their own home? Or should they relocate to an aged care facility or assisted living centre?
As a person ages, their needs and abilities change. What once was easy for them in young adulthood and middle age may grow increasingly difficult. This can apply to physical mobility, mental agility, and more.
In the early years of ageing, most adapt readily and easily to the challenges that come. There might be more pain in the joints, making housework a more arduous task, for instance. But most are still capable of getting their chores done, albeit a bit more slowly, perhaps. For some tasks, such as house cleaning or grocery shopping, they might need to hire a professional, have items delivered, or ask for assistance from family and friends. Ideally, these challenges will continue to be surmountable in the coming years.
Despite these obstacles, your parent/s can still thrive happily in their own home, rising to the challenges that beset them and adjusting their lifestyle accordingly. If there are no significant needs for continuous medical and physical care, they may be able to live this way for many years. For many seniors entering these later years of life, staying at home is the best situation. This is often referred to as ‘ageing in place.’
While not all seniors may wish to stay in their current home, particularly if they are unaccustomed to living alone after the loss of their other half, a great many of them do prefer this way of life. According to one survey, approximately 90% of seniors surveyed expressed a desire to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. In their own home, they feel more comfortable, relaxed, and empowered.
If it is feasible for your parent or loved one to remain in their home during these golden years, there can be many potential benefits to doing so. And there are options to help them do so as well. Let’s take a look.
Ageing in Your Own Home: The Benefits
It’s fairly easy to understand why a person would prefer to live in their own home, particularly as advanced years set in. Chances are, your loved one has resided in this home for a significant portion of their life. There’s a great deal of comfort and familiarity with one’s own home, not to mention the soothing atmosphere of memories and happy times that happened in that home.
There certainly are a range of distinct advantages to living in a space where one feels most “at home.”
A sense of independence
Living in one’s own home instils an undeniable feeling of independence. For seniors, moving away from living alone to living with family or in an assisted living facility can feel like a loss of independence. Remaining in their own home allows for your loved one to continue their normal daily activities and schedule, in a place they want to be. Unsurprisingly, this can result in benefits such as enhanced mental health and self-confidence.
At the same time, it is also important to ensure that your ageing loved one retains social connections and a sense of community. While living at home can be advantageous, living alone can also bring with it a lack of social interactions and relationships. These, too, are paramount to maintaining positive mental health.
Decreased exposure to illness
Another merit of living at home for an older person is their reduced risk of contracting communicable diseases. With the lowered immune system and compromised resistance common in seniors, remaining away from crowds (particularly in close quarters such as an aged care facility) could be extremely helpful. This could ultimately improve overall health and increase longevity.
Lower stress and a higher quality of life
Making a massive lifestyle shift, such as moving into an assisted living facility or moving in with family members, can be a significant stressor. These major life upheavals can cause strain and worry---after all, transitions are never easy, no matter what age you may be.
Those who are able to age in place often report a higher quality of life overall. This likely arises from the sense of independence they retain, which grants them the dignity and honour they’ve grown to know as independent adults. Living at home enables them to stay largely in charge of their own lives, and there can be little doubt that this is well-received and deeply appreciated.
Sofihub is The Digital Tool That Might Make Ageing at Home Possible
Fortunately, the digital era is here, and that means amazing changes in the way we live. For older people, new technology could mean the difference between needing to move into an assisted care facility or remain at home. But what kind of technology are we talking about? What kind of digital tool could make ageing in place a reality?
The answer is Sofihub.
Sofihub is a home assistant and carer notification system that equips seniors to live independently with digital support they can depend on. Ultimately, Sofihub can empower your parent/s to stay at home, for longer.
What is It?
Using machine learning technology, Sofihub provides “monitored independence” for its users. Essentially, older people who are living independently can have the benefit of a virtual, smart assistant that helps them manage their daily lives. Sofihub can be easily programmed to provide verbal reminders to your loved one. These include medication reminders, appointment reminders, and even events such as birthdays. In a pleasant voice, Sofihub will let your parent know that it’s time to take their medications. Each day, Sofihub learns a little more about your loved one’s needs and habits, adjusting to offer optimal suggestions and guidance.
Perhaps best of all, Sofihub allows carers and family members to remain updated on their loved one’s status, in a straightforward, unobtrusive manner. Sofihub will alert you if unusual activity is detected, such as if the sensors do not observe expected movement from the loved one like getting out of bed or coming in from the garden.
How Does it Work?
For providing such a valuable service, the Sofihub system is actually fairly simple. Using a primary hub and tracking sensors placed around the house, Sofihub alerts carers when their loved one’s behaviours, or lack thereof. Carers can use a Sofihub login and password to enter the online dashboard and customise reminders and other settings, too.
The Sofihub system works right out of the box. The main hub requires power, while the sensors are battery operated. Sofihub comes fully connected via a 4G mobile SIM, which allows it to send alerts and receive software updates. In case of power outages, there is a 4-hour battery backup, as well.
Where Can I Get It?
Sofihub is uniquely offered to Australian residents by Southern Phone.
We have three options, the Sofi-Beacon, the Sofi-Assistant, and the Sofi-Package. The Sofi-Assistant is the traditional home-based hub system with primary hub and 3 sensors, providing time-based messaging, medication reminders, and more. Sofi-Beacon is a personal, wearable device that does not have the full functionality of the Sofi-Assistant, but offers GPS tracking and the ability to make an SOS call. This is an extremely useful, portable device. Finally, the Sofi-Package is our package deal that includes both tools. You can compare packages and check pricing here.
When you signup for your package with us, we will determine which network (Telstra or Optus) is stronger in your area, ensuring that you can feel confident that the SIM used in your Sofihub will work well and stay connected.
Ready to get started? If you have further questions, or you’re ready to sign up, don’t hesitate to contact us regarding the Sofihub system. We look forward to helping your loved ones achieve safe, independent living in the comfort of their own home, while also providing you with valuable peace of mind.