“Aging in place” is an expression you may have heard on the news. Or you might have heard it from the lips of your mother’s primary care physician, or a social worker.
So what does it mean, exactly? Aging in place means growing old in an independent living unit, not a retirement community or nursing home. It does not necessarily mean staying in the same home one has lived in for the past fifty years. But it can mean that.
Aging in place is what most people want
A survey conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) found that 88 percent of people over the age of 65 wish to age in place. And 92 percent of the same survey participants said they wanted to stay in their current communities.
Meanwhile, the population of the United States is rapidly aging. Today, seniors are thirteen percent of the population. By 2040, they will be twenty percent of the population. This is the result of two things: People live longer, and young people are having fewer children.
There are a couple of very different ways to look at these statistics. The good news is that a rising population of seniors will force a few positive changes. Suburbs are destined to bring medical and shopping amenities closer to people with mobility issues. Homes will have to be built with kitchens and bathrooms that are friendly to users of all ages, not just those who find it easy to reach down, reach up, and get up on a ladder.
On the other hand, architectural trends have not kept pace with the need to make homes friendly to the old. For example, few single-family homes are built with wheelchair-friendly ramps and doorways. The traditional height of countertops is not conducive to aging in place. Most showers and bathtubs are not optimal for someone with mobility issues or someone in a wheelchair.
Senior Care Bridges the Gap
Perhaps one day, homes will automatically be built with the first-floor closet directly underneath the second-floor closet. And then it will be much easier to retrofit a single-family home with an elevator.
In the meantime, it may be much more affordable to hire senior care to assist your mother or father with daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, and personal hygiene. Senior care aides provide a wide range of services that can be tailored to the specific needs of your senior.
If your senior is still fully capable of looking after himself, it is not too early to start planning for professional senior care. Setting aside funds or perhaps finding an insurance policy to handle such a service is better done in advance than on an emergency basis.
In conclusion, you should not be surprised if your elderly parent or grandparent wishes to live out the rest of her life in her current home or a smaller home in the same community. The vast majority of seniors want that same thing. Until architectural trends catch up to the needs of an aging population, hiring home care may be the best thing you can do to enable aging in place.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elder Care in New Hyde Park, NY, please call the caring staff at Companion Home Care of Long Island. Senior Home Care serving Suffolk, Nassau, and Queens Counties. Turn your questions into answers. Call Today (631) 884-0005
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