Getting older doesn’t have to mean giving up your independence! Increasing in popularity is the practice of “aging-in-place.” This process involves remaining in your own home as you age and taking advantage of various resources to help you safely do so. Benefits of aging-in-place include maintaining independence, enjoying your existing social networks/activities, and preserving your preferred lifestyle no matter the type of assistance you require.
Tip #1: Develop your “Care Network”
Having a “care network,” or a group of professionals and trusted individuals aware of your care needs, health, daily routine, is vital to aging safely. Your care network should include professionals (paid care providers, healthcare professionals, wellness professionals, and people who help you maintain your home) and loved ones (spouses, children, grandchildren, neighbors, friends, and others). Your designated care network means you can openly communicate with them about what level of care you may need, what specific assistance you need when you would like to have it, and who might help organize it. Your care network functions include assisting you with:
Medical consultations → doctors and healthcare professionals can provide you with medical advice to make sure you are receiving the correct level of care based on your health needs (assistance with transportation, personal care, and medication, etc.).
Knowledge of Your Daily Routine → by sharing your daily routine with your care network, they will know where you are/what you are doing, should anything happen, and will also know what activities are important to your health and wellbeing.
At LiveWell, we offer a “Care Coordinator” to help manage your care network and act as a liaison between the professionals and loved ones. Read more about the purpose of this position here.
Tip #2: Just like Home – But Smarter
Staying in your home means aging in a familiar environment with all your possessions, memories, and loved ones. However, as you age, some small changes to your home environment may be wise to upgrade your safety and maintain your independence. Below are some tips and tricks for home renovations as you age.
- Use a CAPS (Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist) contractor to offer advice on home renovations and to perform them for you
- Install anti-slip mats on the bottom of any rugs to increase traction and decrease fall risk
- Place handrails along the stairs and from the bedroom to the bathroom
- Utilize bright and glare-free lighting with light switches at both ends of the hall, or consider installing motion-sensor lights along baseboards
- Bathroom changes like grab bars, a walk-in shower or tub, and extra adhesive strips
Tip #3: Make Time for Yourself and Friends
Spending time with others plays a critical role in encouraging positive mental health. It’s important for everyone, including even the most stalwart of introverts, to be intentional about engaging in social activities. This can include games, classes, artistic pursuits, and even talking over tea. Maintaining an active social network and calendar brings variation in your daily life, physical activities, and more!
LiveWell By Blakeford offers social programming and activities to entertain all areas of interest.
Tip #4: Utilize Technology
In our modern era, there is technology or an app for everything. Use it to your advantage! Smart home technology can shut off appliances remotely, control your home’s climate, detect smoke/carbon monoxide, and more. You can also utilize a personal emergency response system, which allows you to communicate with your care network should you need immediate assistance. Fitbits and smart activity watches can record vitals to track your health. Many more options can make your aging-in-place experience easier every day.
There are several ways to age safely and remain independent, especially in your own home. When considering aging-in-place, make sure you consider the following: your care network, home safety recommendations, social connections, and beneficial technology.
LiveWell By Blakeford is a unique program that helps people remain independent while offering the care they need. If your care needs change, LiveWell has you covered. Learn more about our program by attending a seminar.
Sign Up Here to attend a seminar on LiveWell.