Living in Place Instead of Aging in Place
AARP estimates that 8 out of 10 elderly people want to stay in their own homes as they grow older. Sometimes this is referred to as “Aging in Place”, but this has always sounded like such a negative phrase to me. It’s as if we’re asking our elderly where they would like to end their lives.
Certainly we will all have to answer this question at some point, but until that time, we should change the conversation to Living in Place. It’s a subtle difference, but one that is critical when we are making decisions about our future. We need to keep the focus on living and enjoying all that life has to offer regards of our age or our health.
Home care needs to support the things that make you happy and the life that you want to live – on your terms. If you enjoy baking a cake for a holiday dinner with your family, then you Caregiver should be in the kitchen helping you bake. If you want to see your grandson’s little league game then your Caregiver should be driving you there and helping you find a seat in the shade. You may not be able to do everything that you did when you were younger, but there are certainly things that you can do. Do them!
At some age, everyone will have some medical issues and our memories may deteriorate as well. We may have aches and pains and we may be frustrated at times. We all know that we’re getting older and we know that there’s no magic pill that can restore our physical youth. But, that doesn’t mean that we have to give into the “Aging in Place” mentality. We need to focus on the things that bring us happiness and find enjoyment in the things that we can do.
Living in Place doesn’t have to be about sailing, playing tennis, or any of the other advertising images we are bombarded with on TV. Living in Place can be as simple as enjoying a cup of coffee and a conversation with a friend. It might be nothing more than feeling the sun on your face. It might just be the peaceful satisfaction of looking at your own four walls, your own bed, and knowing that you're home.
Always remember that the point of Living in Place is the living part!