7 Tips to Age in Place
January 30, 2020
Aging in place — a term that generally means staying in one’s home or position of comfort for the rest of their life. The term tends to be anti-nursing home, and pro senior living. Aging in place has not only been recently popularized, but with 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, many strive to make this reality their own.
If you or a loved one feel aging in place fits your desired lifestyle, here are 7 tips that can help make this dream become reality.
1. Simple home modifications
Some simple home modifications can make aging in place easier. We understand that sometimes modifying one’s home may be outside of financial means, but in a previous blog we lay out a few low-cost solutions that make day-to-day living more simple.
Clearing paths from room to room, modifying/discarding throw rugs, and adding nightlights through hallways and bedrooms are just a few tips covered.
Make sure to reorganize your home so you can access necessary tools and items instantly. Clear out your storage room or closet that may have cluttered over the years. (Invite family and friends to come help you accomplish this daunting task!)
Here’s an idea: Have a rummage sale! Rummage sales allow your least utilized items to be utilized by someone else, and it clears your home of unwanted clutter.
Keeping up with your exercise can positively impact your life, not only physically but mentally as well. According to familydoctor.org, most adults 65+ should get about 2.5 hours of aerobic exercise a week (i.e. brisk walking). This adds up to about 22 minutes a day and can be done outside, on a treadmill, or at a facility with an indoor track.
Many people are worried that losing strength may inhibit their ability to stay at home. If you continue to exercise and build strength, it can help you maintain your physical ability to age in place for years to come.
Tip: Try to find a friend that is willing to exercise with you; it’s always more fun to have conversation while working out!
4. Eat healthy
We all know eating well can have major health benefits. Pass on the fast food and set forth a simple meal prepping plan every week. With a little bit of work on a Sunday night, you can have all of your lunches ready to go. Minimize your consumption of red meat and substitute with poultry or fish. Try to keep your meals to only one plate or bowl and don’t forget to drink lots of water! A healthy diet can maintain your ability to age in place by reducing health issues and ultimately helping you feel better. (Of course, we know life is about balance, so please don’t always pass on dessert — just sometimes!)
5. Remain active in your community
Find groups and clubs to join! Many communities have weekly meetups for almost any activity you can imagine. Knitting, running, biking, bible study, you name it, they have it. This is a great opportunity to meet new people and maintain your social life! Not to mention, it’s fun being part of a group. Social isolation is an issue for many people aging in place, and if you find a community of people with similar interests, loneliness can be combated.
Food for thought — Try a new activity that has always interested you: talents can be found at any age!
6. Utilize Technology
Technology has become a major part of everyone’s lives, for example, according to the Pew Research Center, 93% of people aged 65+ own a cellphone. Technology can unlock new communication with family members, allow you to stream movies, and even track your fitness.
Shameless plug — If you use a walker, one technology that is built specifically for you is the WalkWise smart walker attachment. When family members and caregivers have tools like WalkWise, they are more likely to see aging at home as a viable option. Learn more about WalkWise here.
7. Visit your doctor
Don’t forget to visit your doctor! Yearly checkups are massively important for everyone’s health: and you’re no different. Make sure to have a doctor or nurse that you feel comfortable calling in case anything unusual may happen. Regular checkups with your dentist and optometrist are extremely important as well. Being active in your own health will maximize your ability to age in place.
Aging in place is a wonderful goal, and many people can achieve it with a few simple changes. Though we know this is not a comprehensive list, these 7 tips are a good start to making your dream a reality.