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Getting older doesn’t just mean another candle topping the birthday cake each year — it also means making critical decisions about your future.

One of the choices many older Australians face at some point in their life is whether to stay in their own home, or move into residential aged care.

These days, most Australians over the age of 80 want to live their golden years at home with some level of independence — an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare survey found that just one in four people over 85 were living in a residential aged care home. 

If you’re one of them, there’s plenty of support available to help you live in your own home beyond 80, including a range of home, community, health and wellness services from AnglicareSA.  

The benefits of staying in your own home

Dr Danielle Taylor, a health geographer from the University of Adelaide, said living at home with some level of independence had numerous benefits. 

“Keeping older Australians independent, active, healthy and happy for longer is a worthy goal, not only because of the benefit to them but also … the economic benefit it can deliver,” Dr Danielle Taylor said as part of a study this year.

“We are not simply talking about savings to the public purse through their reduced need for health services but also the productivity gains brought about by the contributions older Australians make to the economy and society when they are able to age well.”

While continuing to live at home not only maintains your independence, it also allows you to live near family and friends and enjoy the neighbourhood and surroundings familiar to you. 

This doesn’t necessarily mean staying in the four-bedroom family home you’ve lived in for decades. 

Instead, it could mean downsizing to a smaller house or moving into an independent living unit and having assistance to do some of those day-to-day tasks. 

If you’re thinking of downsizing, check out AnglicareSA’s Independent Living Units that are co-located with our residential aged care homes.  

Here, you get the best of both worlds – you can be as independent as you like, while still having access to a dedicated lounge in the residential aged care home, and our hairdresser and cafe. 

Tailored support to help you stay in your own home

Whether keeping fit and strong is important to you or having someone to help with shopping and cooking, there are many services available that will cater to your unique care needs.

With a home care package, which can be fully funded by the Government or a fee for service arrangement, you can access help with a range of chores and tasks such as shopping, cooking, gardening and housework, or personal care services such as showering, and health services such as nursing, physiotherapy and podiatry. 

Many providers such as AnglicareSA also provide one-off services when you require occasional help. For example, if you need a hand setting up a new mobile phone, learning how to use public transport, giving your home a spring clean or doing some odd jobs around the place. 

Using a Home Care package calculator is a great way to estimate how much the service will cost. 

Help around the home is not the only ingredient to staying in your home longer, you also need to keep your mind and body active.  

Accessing health and wellness services through a professional provider will help you develop and maintain your fitness and support you to stay mentally strong as you age. 

Therapists will map out goals for your health and wellness, and then develop a care plan to help you meet them. 

Some of the activities offered by AnglicareSA include:

  • Pilates: you can lose balance and coordination skills as you age. These mat-based sessions help improve your posture and mobility and build up strength in your core and legs, reducing the risk of falls.
  • Clever Thinkers: it’s proven that regularly solving sudokus and crosswords can keep your mind agile and youthful.  The Clever Thinker’s program keeps your brain active with quizzes, brain teasers and word games. 
  • Hydrotherapy: immersing your body in hot water can help circulate blood better through your body and rejuvenate some of those ageing muscles.  
  • Falls Prevention: the Falls Prevention program allows you to improve flexibility and build your muscle strength — all while socialising and having fun. 
  • Nursing: highly-experienced nursing staff can provide help with medication, health check-ups, regular advice and management of diabetes. 

There are also a range of wellness programs that allow you to get a better night’s sleep and have more energy when you wake in the morning. 

These include tai chi, massages, and a hand wax bath. A relaxation group also focuses on deep breathing and guided meditation. 

With a little support, it is possible to live in your own home beyond 85. If you or a loved one are considering our home support packages, contact our specialist team on 1800 317 009 or email us at [email protected].