As an older adult, health is something you can choose to ignore. However, one thing you can’t and shouldn’t overlook is ensuring you’ll be comfortable where you live.
Most older adults want to age at home or age in place. For this, there are steps you should take today to ensure aging in place is possible.
Preparing for the inevitable
Ultimately, most of us will eventually need some help with activities for daily living – whether it’s within the setting of a community, or independently within your own home1.
Early planning for non-medical home care services before they are strictly necessary can be critical to age in place on your terms.
Some key numbers:
- 90% of seniors prefer to stay in their own homes during the later years of their life2.
- For most seniors who plan to age in place, the most popular reason is their preference to stay in a home they like.
- 65% of seniors find it relatively easy and peaceful to live independently3.
- 25% of seniors are confident when they live independently and feel a sense of dependency when they rely on others.
The 6 steps to Aging in Place
Everyone’s needs are unique; the support they require depends on multiple factors. For senior wellness, here are the steps that will best ensure you can age in place:
1. Location, location, location
It is essential to think carefully about the place you are living in now, and how appropriate it will be for the needs you have ten years, or more, down the line. For aging in place, it is critical to ensure that the home has easy access to the things that they need to maintain a balanced living. Will you be able to get you grocery, access public transportation, and your appointments quickly?
2. Access to specialised health care options
I recently discovered that most people have never heard the term geriatrician before. They are medical doctors who specialise in our needs as we age-related to our wellness. When you see these, they are less likely to ask about your aching knee and more likely to check your ability to take you day to day needs seriously.
For example, did you know that one seniors’ health can have a sudden decline due to insufficient nutrition, not because they can’t cook, but because they don’t enjoy eating alone and so they skip meals? Or that seniors frequently experience falls due to the lacking ability to trim their toenail, or put on their footwear correctly? Don’t let this be the reason you lose your independence and ability to age in place!
3. Getting online and staying connected
Internet access has been proven to be a predictor for depression in older adults4. Nowadays, we all need the internet to stay connected to family and friends. Whether it is through computers or handheld devices – everyone should have 24/7 access to the internet so that they can reach out to anyone at any time. Furthermore, online access will enable you to stay engaged and receive updates from both children and grandchildren.
4. Engage socially in real life too
Aging at home should not mean being bound within the four walls of the house. Staying engaged socially in your community is an integral part of senior wellness. Senior lifestyle while aging at home should include a plan to visit the library, park, local clubs, and gatherings.
5. Getting around / transportation
Driving is the most important thing which an older person may perceive as a key to their independence5. If a senior person can no longer drive, then there must be a viable transportation plan. Arranging a safe transport that will take them to other places will help them stay connected with the outside world, and not feeling lonely.
6. Make the necessary home adjustments
To ascertain that aging in place is the right choice, make sure that the house is safe. Not just today, but also in terms of what you will need later in life. Bathrooms, areas around sinks, rugs, and stairs are examples of what might require particular attention.
Aging at home is a part of the health revolution. There are currently also many connected devices in development that can add extra security, giving your loved ones the peace of mind too. Not only fall alarms but sensors that measure how often you open the fridge during the day and notify loved ones if something seems off.
Aging in place is for everyone
No one wants to leave their house and live in a nursing home. Home is not just a place to live; it is where your support network and emotional attachment lies6. Aging at home is a smart choice if you can take steps to make it safe and accessible.
Mon Tonton - community for senior wellness
Aging in place is appropriate for everyone who is proactive and likes to lead a life on their terms.
One of the efforts under development at Mon Tonton is the ability to register to help connect seniors who either need to receive or would like to help others.
Are you interested in learning more? Join the waitlist here, and you’ll be the first to know when Mon Tonton beta is ready!