What is “aging in place”?
Aging in place simply means that a person — regardless of age — lives in the residence of his or her own choosing. Primarily, this phrase is used in regard to an elderly person maintaining a good quality of life while living in his or her own home.
Addressing needs by planning ahead
In order to successfully age in place, a person must anticipate his or her needs. Are all finances in order? How will personal health and healthcare be addressed? What will be my mode of transportation to and from home? How will I get to the doctor? The supermarket? The mall? How will I keep my home clean? How will I care for myself? What will I need to be mobile in my home? Who will come by to help me? Often, those trying to live at home during their later years fail to plan for all the support and resources that will be necessary to do so. By planning ahead, you can ensure that the daily needs of yourself or a loved one will be in place and available when the time comes.
Setting up support
The ultimate goal of any elderly person wanting to age in place is to be cared for and comfortable while living at home. Fulfilling this goal means setting up a support system.
When it comes to aging in place, the home environment itself can and should be source of support. Look around the residence. Does the home need to be set up differently? What would make life easier? Handle bars in the bath? Perhaps a seat in the shower?
And, the other form of support for those aging in place comes in the form of people. What type of assistance is needed? Does someone need to do the cooking? The shopping? Can someone stop by to help combat loneliness? Can someone come over to help with grooming or the person’s bedtime routine?
When these sorts of questions have been considered and answers to them are then implemented, the person aging in place gains more control over life, along with the ability to fully enjoy it.
While aging, change is inevitable. Bodies change. The ability to do things changes. It happens to everyone. Some abilities become stronger but most become weaker, in one form or another. Realizing this and taking appropriate measures is important. Some things to watch out for that might be different (and more difficult) now than before include:
- Getting around
- Housekeeping or cooking
- Seeing, hearing, or writing
- Grooming or getting dressed
- Staying healthy (higher risk of illness)
By taking inventory of the person’s weaknesses and strengths, appropriate solutions and resources can be set up to sooner, rather than when a foreseeable problem presents itself.
Prepare now to age in place
It’s easy to not give aging in place much thought when we are still functioning independently. However, all of us will someday experience compromises with our ability to live independently without some sort of assistance and without making some changes to our environment.
It is never too early to start preparing. The fact is, if preparation starts now, the inevitable process will be much easier and quality of life will be much higher.
Being able to age in place, in one’s own home, and retain some semblance independence for a senior, which further translates into a sense of dignity that adds to the quality to one’s life. Don’t miss out on being able to live — or help a loved one live — as one so desires.
We can help!
Care and Comfort at Home for Seniors and Veterans was created precisely for that reason — to help seniors and veterans receive all their needs in their own homes. Our wide range of in-home services help them maintain a sense of dignity, as well giving them an assuredness of safety, all while they age in place. To learn more and to set up a free consultation, contact us via our website or give us a call at 630-333-9262. We can help!