Aging in place represents the common desire to stay at home or in a current living situation throughout the aging process, even as care needs increase. This often takes planning and forethought, as aging in place may require home modifications to make an environment more age friendly.
The ideal home settings for aging in place include first-floor master bedrooms, wide hallways, and single-floor living accommodations. While many retirement communities incorporate these settings into their floorplans, single-family home, townhome, and condo owners may need additional modifications. These can come from companies that specialize in services such as:
For seniors wanting to continue living at home, there are many home modifications that make aging in place both easy and safe.
These can be as simple as installing no-touch faucets into sinks, or as extensive as adding a master bedroom to the main floor. Either way, experts recommend making changes ahead of time – even before they’re actually needed.
The most common and practical types of home modifications for an ideal aging-in-place environment include:
Modern medical alert systems have come a long way since the push-button necklaces of the ’70s. For example, there are now wrist units that can automatically detect, with 95% accuracy, when a resident has fallen. There are wearables that monitor a user’s daily physical activity, and can even track their health trends.
Medical alert systems can give both the senior resident and their loved ones more confidence and peace of mind when they are at home alone.
While Medicare and most health insurance policies do not cover the costs of medical alert systems, some insurance providers may offer a discount. Some long-term care insurance also may cover some or all of the costs of the devices.
There are also products that can make it easier for residents to get around at home, helping to maintain independence longer. These range from simple devices, like grab bars in the bathtub and hand-held walkers, to high-tech equipment like rideable scooters.
Common mobility products include:
Furthermore, there’s a wide variety of medical products and equipment for aging in place. These can help make daily tasks easier, increase comfort, maintain hygiene, and monitor the health of the resident. Equipment may range from bandages and hearing aids to back supports and oxygen tanks.
While some items may be needed on an ongoing basis, others are only required temporarily – to manage a specific illness or health issue, for instance. In addition, many Medical supply companies provide home delivery and expedited shipping services for convenience and ease.
Beyond Uber and Lyft, there are transportation services that specialize in the needs of seniors. These services can help clients run errands or go to doctor’s appointments, for example.Many companion care companies offer transportation services as well.
– Mother Teresa