How Seniors Can Continue to Live Independently

Definition

As a person ages, it is only natural that their family and friends will grow concerned about them. This is especially so, however, if they had an accident or medical issue in the past that could put them at an increased risk of further complications or problems. These worries come from a place of caring. Installing devices and developing plans to reach out in the event of an emergency can bring everyone peace of mind.

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Introduction

There are a multitude of ways to age with style and grace . . . in place! The first is the most traditional option and comes in the form of a retirement community. Many of these locations take care of transportation and provide social activities, access to pools and other healthy recreation. Senior apartments or assisted-living centers are the second option when it comes to living independently. It should be noted, however, that the former requires older folks be able to conduct their daily living activities without a great deal of assistance. Such activities include eating, bathing, getting dressed and using the bathroom. When taking care of a home becomes too much, these are good options and may reduce the likelihood of an accident naturally.

Finally, selecting a good retirement location is also helpful, as many states and counties offer free services as well as medical facilities that can be tailored to an older adult’s changing needs.

Location And Activity Considerations For Seniors Who Want To Continue To Live Independently

One thing a senior can do to stay safe is to add safety measures to their homes with the help and recommendations of their primary care provider. The best way to age in place might be to move to a more cost-friendly location or assisted living facility. If this is not an option, then the next best option might be to invest in a medical alert device that the older adult can wear and that is also able to communicate with an emergency first responder or call center. 

Another option might be to outfit the home with products and equipment that could help an older adult move about more freely and safely. Some examples include walk-in showers, toilet seat risers, bath benches, medicine organizers, adaptive clothing, slip-on shoes and specialized utensils. Lastly, older adults might just want to remove any slippery rugs or matting that could result in a spill, as well as add railings or fixtures in critical areas like bathtubs or outdoor porches.

SOLUTIONS: 

  • Hobbies:  Seniors today are living longer than ever, so they can continue to enjoy the activities they did not have time to partake in previously. They might even consider joining clubs and recreation centers that will also offer an unintended benefit of group-based activities. 
  • Dignity:  Aging in place safely may help a senior to improve their psychological health and stave off cognitive declines such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  • Familiar roles:  Older adults are oftentimes the figureheads of their extended families, and when they age in place, they can continue to offer a place for family gatherings. Not only does this reinforce their identity, but it also acts as a means of strengthening family bonds. 
Conclusion

If a senior wants to age in place independently, they may want to add fixtures to their homes or purchase a medical alert device to stay as safe as possible. Conversely, should a senior want more help at home, then he or she might want to ask about moving to a less cost-prohibitive location or seeking federal or state assistance. Seniors and older adults should get the final say in how and where they age—that decision is ultimately up to them.

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