The number of seniors in the United States is growing. It’s estimated that by 2060, there will be over 98 million people over the age of 65. This growth is partly because people are living longer. Thanks to advances in medicine and lifestyle choices, seniors stay healthier for longer.
Various seniors have different options once they retire. Some might want to live in a hospice. Living in a hospice can be an advantage, especially for seniors with medical conditions requiring constant supervision and medical care. However, many seniors would rather live in their own homes or apartments to maintain their independence.
One trend that has emerged in recent years is aging in place. In this article, we will be discussing what aging-in-place is all about and how you can make it happen for your grandparents.
What is Aging-in-Place?
This term refers to seniors who choose to stay in their own homes as they age rather than moving into a retirement community or assisted living facility.
There are many reasons why seniors might choose to age in place. For some, it’s a matter of financial independence. Staying in your own home can be less expensive than moving into a retirement community. For others, it’s a question of maintaining independence and dignity. Being able to stay in your own home on your terms can be an empowering experience for seniors.
Whatever the reason, more and more seniors are choosing to age in place. In fact, according to a recent AARP study, 76% of seniors want to stay in their current home and community as they age.
Of course, aging in place comes with its own set of challenges. As we age, our bodies change, and we may need more assistance with activities of daily living. Additionally, our homes may not be as safe or accessible as they once were.
But with the proper support, aging in place can be a rewarding experience. Here are six things you need to make it happen.
A supportive network of family and friends
One of the most important things you need for aging in place is a supportive network of family and friends. As we age, we may need help with things like groceries, transportation, or even day-to-day tasks like taking out the trash.
It’s essential to have a network of people for your grandparents to rely on for support. These people can be anyone, including hired help. The important thing is that they have someone you can call when you need assistance.
Access to quality health care
Another important thing you need for aging in place is access to quality health care. People who age are more likely to experience chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Having access to quality health care can help seniors manage these conditions and stay healthy.
There are a few different ways to get access to quality health care. One is to sign up for Medicare, the government health insurance program for seniors. Another option is to purchase a private health insurance policy. You can also get health care through a retirement community or assisted living facility.
Whatever option you choose, it’s important to ensure that your grandparents have access to quality care. It’s also essential to install a medical alert system in your home. This will ensure that you can keep an eye out on your grandparents’ health and get alerted if they experience anything life-threatening.
Adequate housing that meets your needs
Of course, one of the most important things you need for aging in place is adequate housing. For example, seniors may need features like wider doorways and hallways to accommodate a wheelchair or walker. They may also need grab bars in the bathroom and shower to prevent falls.
It’s important to make sure that your grandparents’ homes are safe and accessible. If you’re not sure how to do this, you can hire an occupational therapist to conduct an assessment. They will be able to identify any potential hazards and make recommendations for making the home safer.
A safe and livable community
Another important thing you need for aging in place is a safe and livable community. This means having a neighborhood that is free of crime and has good access to amenities like grocery stores, pharmacies, and medical facilities.
It’s also important to have a community that is pedestrian-friendly. This means there are sidewalks and crosswalks available, and the streets are well-lit. This is important because seniors are more likely to experience falls if they have to walk on uneven or unsafe surfaces.
Various activities and programs
Staying engaged and active is important for seniors. It can help them stay mentally sharp and physically fit. There are a variety of activities and programs available to seniors, such as arts and crafts, book clubs, fitness classes, and social gatherings.
These activities can be found at senior centers, community centers, libraries, and even online. It’s important to find an activity that you enjoy and make it part of your routine.
The bottom line
Taking care of your grandparents can be a rewarding experience. It’s important to make sure they have what they need to age in place safely and comfortably. This includes a supportive network of family and friends, access to quality health care, adequate housing, and a safe and livable community. Additionally, seniors should stay engaged and active by participating in various activities and programs. By having these things, they can safely age in place.