Until relatively recently, it was assumed that seniors would move to either a senior living center or to a nursing home. Not surprisingly, seniors are resisting the idea of moving out of their home, and they desire more independence while staying in a familiar environment. Hence, the development of the concept of aging in place.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, aging in place is defined as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”
What does that mean in practical terms for seniors? Aging in place can involve one or all of several different elements.
1. Accessibility renovations to support aging in place
As we age, our mobility becomes more limited. Things which were easy in earlier years, from going up and down stairs to getting into and out of the shower, become more difficult. There are companies who specialize in renovating homes to add accessibility options, like wider doorways to accommodate wheelchairs or grab bars to make it easier to get in and out of the shower. If you believe that you or an elderly parent needs this sort of home renovation, contact us. We can put you in touch with home improvement contractors who specialize in this sort of work.
As we age, we may lose our ability to drive safely. While public transportation may be an option, getting on and off a bus may not be feasible.
The National Center on Senior Transportation has plenty of information on options http://seniortransportation.net/#
3. Fall Prevention
Older adults are more prone to falling than younger, and falls can lead to serious injury. There are programs aimed at fall prevention and they cover both mobility and balance training in addition to practical advice on how to arrange the home to reduce the likelihood of a serious fall. Again, we can put you in contact with the right people to assist you in this area.
4. Home health care and other daily living assistance
If you want to stay in your home as you age, it’s likely that the day will come when you will need assistance with home health care to keep on top of medical issues. You or someone you love may need assistance with daily living tasks such as dressing, toileting, preparing food and the like. Don’t feel that you must move to assisted living to manage these needs. There are companies which specialize in aiding you or your loved ones with these tasks.
While there are certainly additional areas to consider when evaluating the appropriateness of aging in place, these four items are a good place to start. Planning for Senior Life, as an organization, has the mission of aiding seniors in all these areas and the many others which will arise on your journey. Contact us for the right resources to make your journey successful.