As people age, they tend to prefer staying in their comfort zone. Significant changes become overwhelming, and small changes cause more issues than they would have years prior. As a result, many adults decide to spend their golden years in the comfort of their home, a practice that has become known as “aging in place.”
People considering this alternative have to consider the needs they may face as senior citizens: urgent healthcare, frequent doctor visits, and a progressive need for assistance. However, these issues aren’t as challenging as they used to be as we have more access to resources such as specialized apps, monitoring tools, and exercises to help senior citizens keep their physical and cognitive abilities for a longer time. So with all that in mind, here are a few of the aforementioned resources and tips for aging in place.
Keeping Yourself Healthy
Aging is a natural process and a normal part of human life. However, that doesn’t mean that adults lack any agency and can’t take control of their aging process. Many activities can facilitate healthy aging, and they don’t have to be boring or difficult. Older adults can practice special exercises to preserve their mobility and use different apps to keep their memory and problem-solving skills in shape. After all, a healthier body and mind make it easier to remain safely independent, which is crucial to aging in place.
Setting Up Your Home
Your home should be a safe place, not somewhere that you should dread. If you find yourself having trouble with climbing stairs or stepping over the bathtub, grip bars and walk-in tubs for the bathroom are a great start, and a stairlift can be a lifesaver. Other common changes include decluttering and placing more lights around to reduce falls, installing easy-to-use knobs and window pulls, and adding shelving at easier heights to help with having to bend or reach too high.
Let’s face it: Getting around town without a car is a hassle. Once we find ourselves unable to drive, we face the issue of not being able to get ourselves to and from doctor’s appointments, shopping trips, and family visits. There are transportation services in your city that can be found by looking online or contacting your local senior center. The transportation services range from simple carpools to mobility services for those who are wheelchair-bound or have difficulty walking, standing, or bending.
Staying in Contact with a Professional
Advances in medical science allow the elderly to achieve never before seen levels of independence. However, being independent doesn’t mean living in isolation. Older adults should stay in touch with a nurse practitioner specializing in gerontology who can prevent the development of certain conditions and assist with everyday tasks. NPs are also trained in educating the elderly, providing valuable information regarding health risks and treatments.
It’s also important to consider the assistance of physical and occupational therapists. Physical therapists use exercises to maintain or recover the patients ability to move around the house, while occupational therapists help them improve their fine motor skills necessary for everyday tasks like brushing their teeth. With their assistance, people looking to age in place are able to achieve their maximum level of independence and prevent future injuries.
We live in a time when aging in place has become an attainable goal. Adults already planning for this would be wise to perform extensive research and consult with professionals. With the right practices, tools, and advice, older adults can achieve the quality of life they seek by spending their later years at home.
Written by Alisha Christina Coombs
Exclusive for freedompt.com