Staffing for High-Net-Worth Seniors Aging in Place

Employment Blogs
Posted Date
December 15, 2021


IDC Palm Beach - Headquartered in Florida (satellite offices in Atlanta GA and Jacksonville FL)

When family members do not live in close proximity, today's high-net-worth seniors have critical questions to consider about what daily living will look for the rest of their lives. For those who want to stay put, the issue is not as simple as merely wanting to stay in control and enjoy the property they’ve invested in for years. That private home filled with fond memories as well as the aging adults seeking a more leisure lifestyle will still require daily attention, but the needs for both will change.

Whether it is you or your loved ones, preparing for retirement, identifying the future services that will be needed for daily living is crucial to understanding the change in staffing you may need to make. Peter O’Donovan at International Domestic Consulting offers concierge services for interviewing, training, onboarding, and monitoring household and personal staff for high-net-worth seniors who want to put together a comprehensive plan to age in place.

Who Is Responsible for Making Plans to Age in Place?

If you are unable to monitor the household activities for someone living at home alone, it may be time to add trained staff who are experienced in providing adult services and elder care. According to the National Institute on Aging, the best place to start is to start planning. From the sourcing of domestics and caregivers to performing routine household inspections, Peter O’Donovan can help you put together a personalized plan for anyone who has decided to stay put.

Before you start planning ahead for yourself or a loved one, it is important to conduct a thorough review of any existing staff responsibilities while identifying positions you might want to onboard in the near future. So start by asking yourself a gamut of questions, “Are there special requirements for chronic illnesses or medical conditions like onset dementia?” “Can technology be useful in enabling high-net-worth seniors to live independently longer?” …and the list goes on.

What Do Seniors Need to Comfortably Age at Home?

As people age, they often have a strong desire to keep the familiar close. So, before you develop a plan for high-net-worth seniors to age in place, you need to consider the key factors associated with managing risks for someone living independently. What are the seniors’ true desires? How much of a burden is it to manage the household? Are there changes that should be made to the family’s support network? Assuming you or a loved one choose to stay in place, you also need to consider human resource changes, such as:

  • Lifestyle Manager – Seniors who can take care of themselves but choose to age in place, still need assistance to perform daily routines, ensure outings are safe, and stay socially active. A lifestyle manager (or personal assistant) can perform several practical roles in managing daily schedules for trips, visits, appointments, lunches, and shopping as well as provide valuable adult companionship and support.
  • Personal Care for Daily Living – Whether your daily needs for hired help includes running a bath, washing hair, shaving, ironing clothes, or helping a family member get dressed, IDC specializes in placing the right domestic staff members to serve as a point of contact for senior loved ones. A man’s valet or lady’s confidante can perform a variety of duties while delivering the necessary personal services.
  • Household Duties – Living independently at home is one of the safest and healthiest options for today’s seniors. But a decrease in strength and mobility as they age can lead to an inability to perform housekeeping and other activities of daily living. IDC can find and onboard the household staff to ensure your loved one’s home never looks disheveled or unkept.
  • In-Home Meal Preparation –  According to the National Resource Center on Nutrition and Aging, meal preparation for seniors is incredibly important as one in four older Americans suffer from poor nutrition and malnutrition can affect their ability stay in their home. IDC can place the most appropriate skill sets to manage dietary restrictions, go grocery shopping, and prepare fresh, home-cooked nutritious meals.
  • Healthcare & Medical Assistance – Planning too far ahead is difficult because you never know how an individual’s needs might change. To begin with, talk to a doctor about any chronic health problems, like diabetes or heart disease, that could require a higher level of care, such as someone to manage medication schedules, attend doctor’s appointments, and provide specific health care services.
  • Money Management & Payroll – Seniors also need to be careful to avoid money scams, especially when cognitive abilities begin to change without their realizing it. Although some high-net-worth seniors are accustomed to managing household finances and domestic payroll, IDC can act as a point of contact between the family office and senior loved ones as well as report back to the appropriate family members.

Maybe you don’t need help right now, maybe you are already living alone, or maybe you live with a spouse or family member who is developing special needs. With the vast number of high-net-worth seniors rapidly approaching retirement age, comes the added challenge of finding, training, and onboarding qualified staffers as well as keeping loved ones connected to the right professional services to help manage an efficient “age-in-place” model. Unfortunately, the financial profession is often better prepared to serve a broader spectrum of the general population.

Managing Change for Aging in Place if Memory Fades

Truth is everyone’s situation is different. But, coordinating with staff and dealing with age-related issues will eventually fall on someone’s shoulders. One of the biggest challenges your loved one may face while aging at home is the inability to drive. As a senior’s cognitive abilities begin  to change, it will become clear that your loved one is no longer safe behind the wheel, and you will need to find an alternative for getting them to and from appointments and other outings.

For high-net-worth seniors who live alone, especially those who are shut-in because of frailty or mild to moderate dementia, maintaining a familiar routine should be the primary goal for supporting their needs for daily living. Adult nannies might spend time chatting or playing cards with the older adult in their care or reading aloud to them; whereas a certified nursing assistant (CNA) may have a more integral role in the patient process, such as monitoring range of motion exercises and encourage retaining as many self-care skills as possible.

As for the home that is also aging in place, researchers at the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology serve as an information clearinghouse on home modifications that address aging in place. Lowering access heights, installing ramps and rails, adding lifts for both humans and things, replacing traditional bathroom fixtures with walk-in models, and opting for voice and motion activated components are on the list of recommendations. Smart home sensors can also be installed to benefit the unobtrusive processing of safety data as residents move about the home.

Peter O’Donovan understands that seniors who choose to age at home need to feel secure with their companions, staff, and caregivers and will listen carefully as the family expresses their concerns and explains their specific needs for developing, implementing, and monitoring a plan for aging in place. Moreover, International Domestic Consulting can provide a thorough skills assessment to assist with training and onboarding of the best solutions for all members of a senior’s household and support staff. The right placements will have a true affection for providing elder care and a clear understanding of what working for the family entails, including the need for impeccable discretion and privacy.