Why Aging in Place is so important

Longevity seems to be an aspiration of the young and paradoxically, for many, being elderly is an almost forgotten consequence of achieving that aspiration.

With Baby Boomers now reaching the retirement age an ever increasing percentage of the population is becoming directly and indirectly affected by having to consider the best options to maintain a good quality of life for ourselves or our parents in our more mature years.

Surveys and statistics in the US have identified that 90% of adults over the age of 65 report that they would prefer to stay in their current residence as they age and one third of American Households are home to one or more residents 60 years of age or older.  

There are many reasons for people wishing to remain in their own home in later years. Apart from financial benefits, to the individuals and the community at large, which are often overlooked, the psychological and general health benefits of aging in familiar surroundings are well documented. However, the aspired enjoyment and quality of life can be severely undermined or destroyed by risks and handicaps that, with appropriate information, can be avoided or mitigated.

As we age problems arise from:

General motor functioning deterioration – Statistically, 32% of those over the age of 65 will have some difficulty walking, which will require the use of a cane, walking frame or wheelchair. For those with this mobility issue many existing homes present obstacles and problems. Home modifications, such as door width and passage widening, addition of handrails, the alteration of the heights of sinks and toilets and stair lifts, can ameliorate the difficulties that arise as a consequence of these handicaps and considerable improve the physical and emotional quality of life. Anxiety and depression affect many older people and feeling safe and able to lead life as hazard free as possible makes a difference.

Fine motor functioning also reduces for many as we age and can cause difficulties with moving fingers impacting on many basic activities that we take for granted in our younger years. Modifications of handles on doors and bathroom and kitchen modifications will remove many of the difficulties that can arise from this reduced function. There are also specially designed cups and other utensils that are available.

The five senses and cognitive capabilities tend to reduce as we age with slower response time, hearing limitations and visual impairment, with consequential dangers including fire hazards. There many options available to overcome or minimise the problems that arise.

To respond to these and other challenges that can arise as we age there is a range of services available.

Aging in Place allows us to live the rest of your/their days in a comfortable, familiar environment, in a cherished neighbourhood and with an enduring sense of wellbeing and self-worth.

Posted by Stephen Anthony

Posted by admin on Fri, 07 Feb 2014 16:02

 
1

great article

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