Every year, the National Council on Aging conducts its “United States of Aging” survey, which asks America’s senior citizens about their hopes, dreams and concerns.
And every year, those seniors make one thing very clear: the home where they live is the home in which they plan to spend the rest of their lives.
In other words, they hope to “age in place.”
But what is aging in place? And how can you or your family make sure it happens?
What is aging in place?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, aging in place is “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”
It makes perfect sense that you’d want to stay in your home. It’s a place that you’ve worked to build and keep. You value your independence and privacy. And nowhere else will feel like home.
At the same time, you might still have some concerns about coping on your own. The National Institute on Aging lists some common concerns seniors might have, and some ways to deal with them:
Are you concerned you might become the victim of a scam? Is crime a concern in your neighborhood? Speak to someone at your Area Agency on Aging branch for advice.
You can also consider investing in an emergency alert system which allows you to contact first responders with the push of a button.
There might be other changes you can make to improve safety around the house, such as a ramp at your front door, or grab bars and non-skid floors in the bathroom. The Area Agency on Aging can also advise you on ways to pay for these changes.
2. During the day
You might live with someone who has to work or go to school during the day, which is where adult day care can come in handy. Adult day care centers can pick you up and drop you off at home, providing a place for you to socialize and get lunch and/or breakfast.
3. Getting around
Is getting around the house getting more difficult? You might want to consider a mobility device, whether that means a walker, electric wheelchair or scooter, or even something like a stair lift.
Are you no longer comfortable driving? Look for services who link seniors with volunteers who can escort them to doctor appointments and shopping trips or get the help of a friend or neighbor who can accompany you on your errands.
Contact the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116 or visit www.eldercare.gov to find resources in your community that can help you get around.
4. Things to do
You’ve retired, and now you’re spending a lot of your days bored at home. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Your local senior center has plenty of things for people to do. At the very least, you can use it as a place to make new friends and reconnect with those you already know.
And if you have trouble getting around, there are volunteers who can come spend time with you, whether it’s just to chat or to talk about problems you might be having.
Again, your local Area Agency on Aging can yell you whether volunteers are available. If you feel active enough, you might be able to do some volunteering of your own and help other seniors.
Let Pennsylvania Stairlifts help you age in place
What is aging in place? It’s something most of us want and deserve, a chance to enjoy our later years in comfortable, familiar surroundings.
Let Pennsylvania Stairlifts help you realize that dream. Having a stair lift or platform lift installed in your home can allow you complete access to both floors of your home at a time when using steps might represent a challenge.
Contact us today to find out how we can make your home an easier place to live.