Popularity of Aging in Place
You and your spouse are getting older, and you find that the topic of “aging in place” is coming up more frequently in conversations with each other and friends. (I still prefer to call it "Living in Place".) You now have concerns about making your home fall safe, and you want control of your own life in your own home, not depending on a family members. So what can you do to make aging in place a viable option for you?
Making your home safe
You can start by looking around and seeing what changes need to be made. You have to have the intent to make changes too. So do you need extra railings for the steps; for instance? Or have you thought about maybe moving your bedroom downstairs? Perhaps converting that big closet in the hallway into an extra bathroom would be a good idea. Another thought is to have a home care professional come in and evaluate your home. He or she can walk through your home and then give you suggestions on how to improve any safety issues or advise on other issues dealing with home living. Because when you “age in place,” it improves the quality of life. When you live in surroundings which are familiar to you, you draw comfort from the familiarity if your health starts to fail too. And when change is minimized there is less confusion in an older adult. The good news then is that living in your own home as you age may also actually extend your life.
But what if you have health issues?
If you have health issues, you may still be able to stay in your own home. If you require assistance with daily activities; for example doing laundry or in getting dressed, you can have a home care caregiver come to your home and assist you. The home care provider is personalized to your specific needs, and this option allows for one on one interaction and attention. So when you receive home care, it gives you more say about your care, and you can choose the services which best suit your needs. In this then, the home care provider can help with the laundry, cooking, light housekeeping or even companionship if needed among other things. And there is financial help for those who can’t afford these services on their own.
Other points about aging in place
When you age in place, it lets you remain in the community you are comfortable in. The places where you shop, your church, synagogue or the local senior center are all familiar to you. Also you feel safer and much more secure. By staying in your own home, even with home care assistance, you can remain independent too and be free to come and go as you please. Because the fear of losing independence and being moved to a nursing home is the worst fear felt by most seniors; a greater fear to them than actually dying. By planning ahead for future needs though, it decreases the stress and anxiety of what may be down the road. When you plan for what may happen in the future. This lets you become more knowledgeable about your options and possibilities.
Technological advances are advancing to meet the needs of an aging population. From robot vacuums to help clean a house, to sensors being placed to monitor movement of seniors by family members, to in home care by professionals; more than at any time before, a safer and happy environment for seniors is now available when “living in place.”