By 2060, the number of so-called "senior citizens" will double, and this number will continue to increase in the following years. Due to the limited number of beds in nursing homes, the issue of home care is being put on the agenda. What do seniors actually want?
On 1 January 2009, there were 1,836,779 people aged 65 and over in Belgium. Ten years on, this has risen to 2,165,300 inhabitants, an increase of 18%. The number of people aged 65 and over is constantly increasing and, according to STABEL, will increase by 23% in 2070. This age group is growing and wants to stay at home as long as possible. Staying at home also means ensuring that your living space is well equipped.
It is clear that the majority of baby boomers want to enjoy their golden years at home. 80% say they are "attached to their home" and 80% of 85-year-olds continue to live there. 70% of future generations of senior citizens are preparing to adapt their homes so that they can live there for the rest of their lives.
WHY DO SENIORS WANT TO STAY AT HOME?
There are two reasons why seniors choose to stay at home:
- the desire to live in their own homes for as long as possible
Over the years seniors have experienced things in their house or flat. Every room in the house evokes memories to which they are attached. Very often they don't want to exchange these memories for a small room in a care home or a flat unknown to them, where everything has to be rebuilt.
For those who live close to their family, owning their own home also allows them to welcome their loved ones at any time. Other reasons are having a pet that accompanies them on a daily basis and for whom it is impossible to imagine being separated from them.
The housing is a reflection of the people who live there. They have their own habits and know how to deal with their environment. There is no denying that the house needs to be adapted to their new needs.
Rest and care homes entail considerable costs for senior citizens. Not all institutions today are adapted to the needs of seniors, as ageing of the body leads to various diseases. The supply of institutions is saturated in the Flemish and Walloon Regions.
THE RISKS OF HOME CARE
90% of accidents involving senior citizens in the home are due to falls. It is the main cause of accidental death, accounting for 9 000 deaths a year. And if a fall does not result in death, the body can suffer severe shocks with physical consequences and hospitalisation.
Many senior citizens who want to keep their homes need help on a daily basis with tasks that are becoming increasingly difficult. For those who still have the necessary reflexes, it is a question of avoiding social isolation and a sedentary life.
This help requires human and even material investment. Families do not always manage to free up enough time or organise an appointment that allows a serene stay in the home.
CUSTOMISED RESPONSIBLE HOME CARE BY CURA
CURA supports home care by adapting the home to the needs of senior citizens. This means investing in both technical resources and people. This can be done by means of small tricks or very simple works such as: a non-slip shower mat, a calendar adapted to seniors, ergonomic cutlery, ...
But more modifications can be important, such as a stairlift, an adapted bathroom, ... In this case, CURA can advise you and introduce you to the occupational therapists or professionals necessary for the realisation of these modifications. It is important to make a precise diagnosis of the difficulties encountered by the resident in the rooms of the house: in the bathroom, in the bedroom, in the kitchen, in the living room, etc... No room should be left to chance.
If these adaptations to the living environment are not implemented, senior citizens will move to find a safer home. The main reasons for older people to change their homes are usually the fact that they cannot rely on:
- family or relatives in the neighbourhood,
- care teams in the neighbourhood,
- connected or digitised solutions to make their daily lives easier,
- a home support and coordination team.
CURA therefore implements solutions to alleviate these causes. These may include occupational therapy, telemonitoring, teamwork and coordination of care providers. You will no longer be alone, or at least your loved ones will be able to keep an eye on you if you do not answer the phone. You will be given company and will no longer have to leave your home reluctantly.