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Senior Care. If you’d have met me two years ago, you would have marveled at how I am a 70-year-old, independent woman who can not only take care of all her own needs, but also has an active social life and babysits her grandchildren whenever she gets the chance. In fact, people told me that the reason I was mentally all there even at this age was that I was so physically active. Of course, I did have my fair share of “senior moments,” when memory would fail me but even my doctor said that some of that was expected at this age. Whatever it was, I thanked God that I was fit and did not need to consider an old-age home, a phrase that put the fear of god in me!

It wasn’t till late 2014 that I realized that my forgetfulness was becoming almost rampant to the extent that it was affecting my life. At this stage, my doctor said that I had mild cognitive impairment, again something that a lot of people experience due to aging. But things didn’t stop there. I started losing track of the day, date and even the time of day. Sometimes I would feel disoriented even at the supermarket, especially if it wasn’t my usual one. This really scared me and is the moment I started seeking out in home care assistance.

New Housing Options for an Aging America

24 hour care for the elderly in their own home

Healthcare sitters are hired by individuals, hospitals and rehabilitation centers to ensure the safety of people with medical problems, such as patients who have suffered a stroke, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Sitters do not have to be licensed medical professionals. However, they do have to be dependable, compassionate, trustworthy and have knowledge about the type of conditions their patients have. As the population ages, the demand for healthcare sitters may grow.

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Develop a written contract for clients that outlines duties. Family members will usually be the ones hiring a healthcare sitter. Most sitters do not perform medical procedures, such as taking vital signs. Decide what duties your healthcare sitter business will include, such as feeding and assistance in the bathroom. Clearly discuss responsibilities upfront so clients understand your boundaries.

Contact local hospitals and rehabilitation centers to determine if they hire healthcare sitters. Some hospitals employ sitters to work overnight with certain patients. Staff members are often busy providing medical care to patients and may not have the time to handle a patient who is confused and may try to wander out of the room.

Mail brochures and business cards to doctors' offices and senior centers to market your services and gain private clients. Be sure to interview clients first to determine if a job is a good fit. Consider the home environment, expectations and client needs before accepting an assignment.

New Housing Options for an Aging America

Many seniors live on a minimal income and prefer to maximize their quality of life on their present income. Before moving anywhere, seniors should keep in mind the cost of living for basic life essentials, such as affordable housing, utilities and reasonably priced grocery stores. Seniors also should consider whether the community has adequate accessible health care professionals and facilities, local senior activities, access to transportation and affordable retail stores. Depending on what a senior is looking for, the United States has plenty of places for seniors to move to that will not drain their economic resources.

(Stewart Cohen/Lifesize/Getty Images) home care worker