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Aging in place.

 

Aging in Place

My first ‘aging in place’ project was building a set of stairs and handrails off my grandmother’s porch.  I was recently looking back at those photos and I had to note the many changes since they were taken nearly twenty five years ago.  Although I could point out the changes in my hairline (my children were happy to do that for me), I was referring to all the changes in ‘aging in place’, and how all of these new and exciting innovations would have made my grandmother’s daily life more enjoyable and satisfying.  But the biggest thing is that simple adjustments would have allowed her to continue living the way she wanted to.  Independently.

What is aging in place?  Wikipedia defines it as the ability to live in one’s own home – wherever that might be – for as long and as confidently and comfortably possible.  Livability can be extended through the incorporation of universal design principles, and other assistive technologies.  Assistive technologies include communications, health and wellness monitoring, home safety and security.   I personally think aging in place means so much more.  Freedom, independence, comfort, dignity, and opportunity are words that come to mind; the opportunity to make decisions and choices that will affect the quality of your life, or that of a loved one.

Fall prevention is one of the easiest and least expensive things that can be added to help a senior in their home.  Falls are the leading cause of death from injury among older adults, one third of those falls are directly related to easily avoided hazards in the home.  Falls are also recurrent and 66% of fall victims will fall again within 6 months.  There is a senior related death due to a fall every 35 minutes. The sad thing, is a lot of these falls are so easily prevented, by being proactive and installing grab bars and other aids to prevent a fall before it happens.  This could be one of the best gifts you could give to yourself, or a loved one.  The gift of continued independence.

Now that nearly 77 million baby boomers are reaching retirement age, the options for aging in place in your home are bigger than ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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