Aging in place is an older adult lifestyle decision that means spending your old days in your home instead of moving to a retirement community or a nursing home. This lifestyle choice is ideal as it allows seniors to stay in a safe and comfortable setting that they’re familiar with.
It’s said that aging in place has many benefits, including being independent, staying in a familiar community, and avoiding caregiver expenses. However, seniors need to know what it takes to age in place. This is because aging in place isn’t a walk in the park.
Maintaining independence and caring for yourself becomes challenging as age increases and health deteriorates. This guide will outline what seniors need to know to facilitate aging in place. Keep on reading to learn more.
What Seniors Should Consider
To age in place safely and with honor, there are things seniors should consider and educate themselves on to avoid potential problems in the future. These factors include:
Slips and falls are the main causes of injuries, major complications, and even fatalities in older adults. However, these falls don’t have to be a way of life for seniors aging in place, as they can be easily prevented.
Aging health issues such as poor eyesight, balance issues, and muscle weaknesses cause falls in seniors at home. These can be mitigated by installing proper lighting, installing handrails, and removing clutter from pathways.
Another magnificent way to prevent falls is to perform regular exercise. Exercise should be a priority for seniors aging in place as it helps improve muscle weakness and stimulates you to perform your daily activities.
If you can’t perform daily activities, it’s best to engage in occupational therapy to help you embark on exercises. Some exercises to try out include yoga, pilates, and tai chi to improve strength and balance or running, walking, or climbing stairs to slow bone loss.
As you age, the risk of illnesses and injuries significantly increases. Older adults are more prone to home accidents than younger adults. Therefore, prioritizing safety is crucial to age in place. To maximize safety, practice safety measures in all home areas, including kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms.
Kitchens can be hazardous for seniors due to the high risks of slipping and potential fires. But you can easily prevent such accidents by wiping spills immediately, installing smoke detectors, keeping a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, closing drawers and cabinets, keeping electrical appliances away from water, and storing items at a convenient height to avoid climbing.
In bathrooms, wet floors and loose towel racks can cause many accidents. You can avoid this by installing grab bars, investing in non-slippery surfaces, removing obstacles, and improving bathroom visibility.
On the other hand, bedrooms are a place of relaxation and comfort. Yet if precautions aren’t taken, it can be a hub of accidents for seniors aging in place. For safety in the bedroom, wear supportive slippers to avoid slipping, use tape to secure carpet edges that may cause you to trip, and avoid bed sheets that reach the floor to avoid tangling your feet.
Aging in place is a fantastic way for aging adults to enjoy their independence in a familiar setting. Nevertheless, it’s essential to consider the cost implication associated with aging in place.
You’ll need to determine if you need home care, home modifications, and transportation. Home care allows seniors to maximize their independence by having caregivers assist them in performing specific duties. The cost of a caregiver varies from state to state, but it’s determined by work shift hours and the type of services offered. Caregivers help with preparing daily meals, housekeeping chores, and other activities that make aging seniors comfortable.
Furthermore, home modifications are necessary to create an age-friendly living space to incorporate the needs and abilities of the seniors. Home modifications should consider improving independence, safety, mobility, security, and comfort. While it’s impossible to create an accident-free home, the modifications should be aimed to strengthen and preserve the aging adult’s capabilities.
Finally, seniors should consider transportation costs, as they often don’t drive. Transportation will be required when visiting doctor’s appointments, shopping for groceries, or visiting family members. Although it’s the responsibility of family caregivers to transport their loved ones, it’s not always convenient as family members can’t always miss work to drive seniors around.
Planning for the future can be challenging, especially if it involves aging in place. Nonetheless, making the necessary arrangements for your future with the help of your loved ones can save them from making challenging decisions in the future. Making the decisions now gives them confidence that they’re providing the type of care you need.