Aging is an inevitable fact of life. With aging comes the realization that we may be faced at some point with the inability to live independently. Whether making a move to an assisted living facility or moving into the home of a family member, aging-in-place is a dream that many seniors do not want to give up.
Aging In Place
Home automation may offer the aging relative in your life an opportunity to remain in his or her home for a longer period of time than may have been possible in the past. While home automation won't address every issue that may arise, it can add to the safety factor in your relatives' home. The technology available ranges from home medical alert devices to the ability to not only talk with, but physically see, your relatives through the use of a web camera.
There will likely come a time when your parents can no longer care for themselves and when it does, it's a time filled with some difficult decisions. You will have to determine whether they can continue to age at home or if they need an assisted living facility. Taking their needs into consideration as much as possible is something that the family will want to do, but safety and security needs to be your primary motivating factor in making decisions for and with them.
Statistically, elderly drivers are safer drivers than younger ones. Research finds that they wear seat belts, avoid the roads in inclement weather, avoid rush hour and overall drive fewer miles than most. That isn't to say there aren't risks that come with aging medications, reduced mobility and other medical conditions can all conspire to make driving more of a challenge for your aging relative.
There are so many steps that we can take from an early age to help extend our lives and to simply make our Golden Years more enjoyable and with better health! Aging in place, and aging gracefully includes making good choices in our earlier years that should continue as we grow older.
Baby boomers are learning that growing older is far better than we expected. We are not aging the same way our parents and grandparents did and our quality of life is in many ways the best ever. Always resistive, always resistant, and always resilient, we are thriving on many levels. Turns out, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.
On the surface, it might seem like a good idea to move your aging parents into your home once they're no longer able to live independently. Doing so may eliminate the need for you to split your time between spending time with your own family and making trips to your parent's home to take care of them, but intergenerational housing isn't always a smooth transition.
At LifeFone, we recently talked about simple ways to improve the kitchen, bathroom and walkways for mom or dad. Though, sometimes maintaining and keeping a home safe from falls could take upgrades and modifications that would require a professional.