Helping Loved One’s Aging in Place
For many families, aging is the third rail of dinner discussions. It’s a sad fact that American culture worships youth and fears aging. Part of it is an outgrowth of fear of losing autonomy, but like anything else, hiding something away doesn’t make it better. Aging in place is a vital topic to address with your loved ones, and the sooner you can, the better.
We love our older relatives and want them to continue to live happy, healthy lives as we learn from them and keep them on our own. Aging is a normal process, a privilege far superior to the alternative. So what can we do to help our loved ones live their lives fully, keeping healthy, with minimal disruptions?
Health Benefits to Aging in Place
Numerous studies, including one in 2022 by the National Institutes of Health, have found that aging in place can benefit seniors’ health. Reasons for that are physical, mental, and social.
Physically, seniors who stay at home have lower rates of chronic health conditions than their displaced counterparts. Reasons for that could include lower stress levels from changes and the ability to stick to physical routines that they’ve established.
One’s mental well-being also improves with a sense of autonomy, familiarity, and self-control. While novelty is essential to keeping the brain nimble, there are many ways to attain that without losing the comfort of home. Seniors who remained in their homes had lower levels of depression and higher levels of life satisfaction than their peers in institutionalized settings.
One factor that may affect both mental and physical health is social connection. Staying within their neighborhoods and communities provides more opportunities for social interaction, though there is much you, as a younger relative, can do to help.
Home Modifications and Medical Devices
It’s an odd phenomenon, though, in line with our national agreement to keep mum about aging, that we don’t think ahead when we design our homes. As a result, as we age in place, the homes that suited us when we were younger are no longer as appropriate for our aging bodies.
Rooms and areas of the house homeowners must address as they age include bathrooms, stairs, uneven surfaces, and lighting.
Some necessities, like removing trip hazards or improving lighting, are easy to handle yourself. Other changes for aging in place require the help of professional medical device installers like ADL. For example, we can install stairlifts and wheelchair lifts to enable you to continue to use your home.
Advancements for Daily Living can also help you meet some of your other medical needs as you age. For example, we provide Anodyne Therapy machines for pain management, catheter supplies, walkers, and other medical devices like lymphedema pumps.
Supporting Your Aging Loved Ones
Facing aging can be daunting for anyone, but talking with your loved ones about aging in place can help you and them to make the process easier and healthier. Talk to your senior relatives about their current and potential future needs, and remember that love and social interaction remain essential elements of a healthy life.