Aging in place has become a growing trend over the past few years. In short, aging in place means that you are able to spend your final years in your space, your home. Regardless of medical conditions that arise, the concept believes environments are designed to adapt to your needs.
You can see why it has been becoming a trend. Aging in place is part of movement in this country that empowers people to take control of their aging journey. It begs people to think outside the traditional nursing home and think about what they want. No longer are people destined to live in traditional nursing homes—other alternatives are possible!
It’s a concept we celebrate at Tabitha. (Check out our president’s TedX Talk here). For some, severe medical conditions may require a move to a senior living community. But for many, aging at home is a closer reality than you may realize.
Aging in place doesn’t have to include costly demolitions or renovations. You can start small. Think about your current home and things that may be challenging about it when you get older. Here are some ideas:
- Shower bars—though not a normal part of aging, 1 in 3 older adults will fall during the course of the year. Showers are a prime place falls due to the slippery environment. Installing bars in the shower can help you safely step in and out of the tub. And opt for real shower bars - don’t rely on flimsy towel bars as substitutes. https://www.ncoa.org/news/resources-for-reporters/get-the-facts/falls-prevention-facts/
- Handles—arthritic hands may have difficulties turning door knobs or opening cabinets. Consider switching the round knobs to levers which can be easier to open.
- Lighting—age-related vision problems occur so slowly you may not even notice they’ve happened. Stay ahead of the game by making sure your house is properly lit. Are there lamps near hallways and stairs? Do you have enough light in storage or work areas?
- Organize—aging bones don’t always like to move around. Avoid running around the house looking for items by setting up an organized system. Think about moving your dresser near your bed so you don’t have to move far to get dressed in the morning. If you don’t use all 5 of your saucepans, consider downsizing and placing the one most frequently used right next to the stove. Organize your space to make sense for you as you get older.
- Home services—need help mowing the lawn or getting to the store? There are service that can help. Check out Tabitha’s line of in-home support services.
Stairs, narrow hallways—all big structural items that can make aging in place difficult. Interior designers and architects are now specializing in geriatric design and creating house plans and renovation plans that will allow for wheelchairs, walkers and other conditions often associated with aging. If you’re thinking big, consider some of these aging in place floor plans.
Looking for more ideas! Check out this!
Happy pro-active aging!