Aging in Place
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
According to AIPatHome, Aging in place (i.e. 'age in place') is the ability to live in one's own home - wherever that might be - for as long as confidently and comfortably possible. Livability can be extended through the incorporation of universal design principles, telecare and other assistive technologies. These technologies also span categories of communication and engagement, health and wellness, home safety and security, and learning and contribution.
What is aging in place to you and me? It doesn’t start at any specific age; it's basically adapting our homes to become easier to live in. As we enter the "Golden Years", a time when the kids are gone, we are either retired or semi-retired we don't necessarily want to spend extra time taking care of or home or spending hours to accomplish tasks that used to take us minutes. We also start to develop physical issues that become barriers in everyday life.
As the baby boomers age in the next few years the 60+ population will nearly double. I, like most, would love to be able to stay in my home that I have become very accustom to for as long as I can. Nursing homes and living assisted communities are expensive and for me will represent a turning point in my productive life.
What are we talking about? Low maintenance and accessibility are the main themes. Starting at the exterior of the home with lawns and plants that require little time and effort to maintain. Covered access into the home from a vehicle and access through a door threshold that can accept a wheelchair or walker. Main living areas on the ground floor with wide halls and door openings. Floor covering that are easy to navigate, keep clean and slip-resistant. Thinking ahead, who wants to have to get a ladder to change an air filter in the ceiling if steps are even a challenge?
I am already carrying a pair of reading glasses just to adjust the thermostat or change the channel on the TV remote. Sliding a window to the side rather than lifting one up is a blessing.
The list goes on and on. Most can be incorporated into existing home with some good planning. Our experience in this area is both personal, with 50% military disability, and 10 years of inspecting Specially Adapted Housing program for the Veterans Administration (VA).
Consider your needs before beginning your next project. We can help.