Co-housing for older adults

Regardless of your age or situation when Golden Girls hit the airwaves, chances are that you, like so many others, thought that their living arrangement seemed like a good deal. Certainly better than Shady Pines, like Sophia often joked about!

Co-housing for older adults, also often called “home sharing for seniors”, is when two or more single, widowed, or divorced seniors move in together as roommates. This trend in housing for seniors is actually an old concept that’s long been practiced in Europe and finally catching on in North America.

The Benefits of a Co-Sharing for Seniors

The thought of living alone as we age can be a bit daunting when you consider financial challenges, health issues, and a shrinking social and support network that often accompanies aging. Loneliness and isolation are also a very real problem for many seniors. The majority of seniors want to remain in their homes as long as possible rather than going into a senior care facility and moving in with their children isn’t always possible or even desirable. Taking on a housemate can remedy all of these things.

By sharing your home with another senior, you enjoy companionship, which has been shown to have a number of mental and physical health benefits. Seniors who live with others tend to be healthier, happier because they have friendship and support, eat better, and exercise more.

It Makes Home Care More Affordable

Home care services help seniors continue to live at home longer by helping with tasks that become difficult or by providing advanced home healthcare when a person has health issues. When two or more seniors decide to live together, home care becomes more affordable because they are able to split the costs.

Professional caregivers can come in and help with chores such as housekeeping, grocery shopping, and meal preparation that both parties can benefit from. It also eliminates the need to battle out who’s going to get stuck with what chore! Home care services can also be modified to include home health care should one or both seniors require them due to an injury, illness, or recovering from surgery.

Living with another person provides the comfort of safety and independence. Splitting the cost of professional home care can help you both enjoy safety and independence even longer, regardless of any health challenges that may come up.

David Porter, CPCA
Director

Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care

Back Pain – Causes, Limitations, and More

According to Statistics Canada, back problems are one of the most common chronic conditions in Canada—low back pain especially.

Back pain can range in severity from mild to severe and can be a dull ache or a shooting or stabbing pain. When bad enough, it can impact your ability to perform even simple daily tasks.

It’s often accompanied by other symptoms, which can include:

  • Pain that radiates down your leg
  • Numbness in tingling in a leg or foot
  • Pain that worsens when you bend, walk, or lift
  • Depression when back pain is chronic or limits mobility

Causes of Back Pain

Aging is one of the most common causes of back pain. Over time, everyday wear and tear causes the discs between your vertebrae to become thinner and more brittle. This leads to common back conditions, including:

  • Osteoarthritis, which results from the breakdown of the disc and cartridge in the joints
  • Spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal cord
  • Spondylolisthesis, in which one vertebra slips forward onto another
  • Bulging or ruptured disks

Physical inactivity and osteoporosis are also common causes of back pain in seniors.

Activities to Avoid That a Caregiver Can Help With

Acute back pain can last from days to weeks and can sometimes become chronic, lasting months or even years. Depending on your age and overall health, you may be required to avoid certain activities for some time while your back heals.

Depending on how severe your pain, you may need to avoid activities such as:

  • Lifting
  • Sitting for long periods
  • Raising your arms or reaching
  • Bending over
  • Walking
  • Driving

As you can see, back pain and recovery can be quite limiting and make it difficult—if not impossible—to perform a number of daily tasks. This can make life challenging for you and your loved ones.

Our in-home caregivers are able to help with these tasks and do the things you’re not able to while you’re recovering from back pain. They can be there to help day or night, and offer live-in or live-out home health care services, depending on your needs.

Some of the things they can help you with include:

  • Personal care, such as dressing and bathing
  • Grocery shopping and errands
  • Transportation to and from medical appointments
  • Medication administration
  • Meal preparation
  • Housekeeping

If your doctor has recommended walking to help loosen stiff muscles and joints, our caregivers can also provide companionship and accompany you on walks and outings so that you can remain mobile.

If back pain is interfering with your ability to carry out certain activities and you’d like to know more about our in-home care services, give us a call.

David Porter, CPCA
Director

Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care

 

 

Article Resources
Back Pain. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-619-m/2006003/4053542-eng.htm
Degenerative Back Conditions. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16912-degenerative-back-conditions?_ga=2.128921988.947820902.1543350927-1001412253.1542995090
Osteoarthritis. https://www.arthritis.ca/about-arthritis/arthritis-types-(a-z)/types/osteoarthritis