Aging in Place in Baltimore

As the temperature drops, and we prepare for the sharp chill of the next few months, we tend to nest. It’s the time of year our houses feel the most like home. We snuggle up with our kids and furry friends for a movie, enjoy hot, hearty meals out of the slow cooker, and use social media to connect from the comfort of the couch.

The concept of home is duly relevant when trying to understand the needs of our aging parents. As they slow down and require some assistance, we lose confidence in their ability to live independently, especially if they live alone. It becomes tempting to relocate them to live with a relative or into an assisted living facility.

However, research shows significant advantages to aging in place. It’s markedly less expensive, slows progression of memory loss and fosters self-determination. And it allows older adults to take pride in and enjoy the comforts of their own home, providing them with a great deal of dignity.

Living alone has its challenges too, including loneliness or inability to get around. We feel responsible for chauffeuring or entertaining our aging parents, but more likely than not, they prefer to engage with the world with more independence.

Fortunately, in Northwest Baltimore, there are agencies like The Associated’s CHAI Inc., that offer day-to-day services and social opportunities to keep our parents independent and engaged. CHAI’s Aging in Community division provides the support services senior adults need to remain independent, safe and secure in the homes they cherish.

For instance, CHAI’s Northwest Neighbors Connecting program organizes social events and cultural activities like a monthly “lunch and a movie” event. Its Volunteer Driver Program, provides a ride to a doctor’s appointment or to go shopping for groceries, all the while making connections with other community members.

CHAI’s Senior Home Repair program offers repairs and safety modifications for eligible homeowners 62 and older. A trusted CHAI technician can address plumbing and electrical problems or install an extra railing, in addition to various handyman projects. Having a dedicated CHAI technician offers piece of mind that your loved one is in good company while their home is being serviced.

It is also important to encourage maintenance of their mental and physical fitness. The Edward E. Myerberg Center is a state-of-the-art facility that offers dozens of courses to enrich the lives of the retired community. From Cycling and Rock Steady Boxing to iPad Essentials and Oil Painting, Myerberg has fitness classes tailored to meet the needs of aging bodies as well as art, humanities and tech courses to stimulate the brain and feed the soul. There are also fun, monthly meet-up groups like The Bagel Boys and Joanna’s Book Club.

It’s nice to know that there are plenty opportunities in Baltimore to help support our aging parents’ independence. Above all else, it’s imperative that we listen to their needs and engage them in the decision making for their future. This kind of open dialogue and consideration will foster feelings of home, no matter where they choose to live.

For questions and information about how to take advantage of CHAI’s aging-in-place programs, contact CHAI’s Intake Line (410) 500 5433 (LIFE).

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