Aging in place is much preferred by the majority of Canadian senior citizens. This is especially true now that COVID-19 has proven to be a havoc-wreaker on old age homes all across the country. However, for most senior citizens, living at home isn’t all that easy. It’s important for their homes to be safe and equipped with all of the necessities that make their lives comfortable.
As you’re likely aware, there are numerous barriers to aging in place. But what are the best ways to overcome them?
Properly prepare for the inevitable.
To be fair, the vast majority of us are not usually prepared for our parents to get old. We know that the situation is inevitable, but we still don’t fully accept the realities that come with it. It’s hard. Especially for older adults with mobility issues, it’s difficult to live each day in a home that isn’t fully accommodating.
Carol Pardue-Spears of Family Matters In-Home Care notes that a lack of preparation is a common barrier to comfortably aging in place. “It’s not like we don’t know it’s coming, yet many people are simply unprepared for aging in place,” she writes, “For the most part, people don’t think that far ahead and are unsure what to do in the first place. If they do prepare, it is typically not well enough for the demands to come.”
Remove transportation and mobility roadblocks.
How does your elderly loved one get around when leaving the home? Is there a public transit option in your city that accommodates for mobility solutions such as wheelchairs and scooters? It’s important to remember that, in addition to the home itself, its surrounding area must be considered for your elderly loved one’s use. Pardue-Spears points out that public transportation doesn’t always accommodate those with mobility issues.
“Today’s transportation facilities are much too focused on cars, with near total lack of options for non-driving adults or households without cars,” she notes, “Public transportation options, if available at all, often lack connectivity and are difficult for older adults to reach, board, and safely get home. For older adults that like to walk, even that can be a challenge as most cities have miles of crumbling and cracked sidewalks and related pedestrian facilities are inadequate.”
Address the not-so-accessible levels of the home.
Have you considered that the design of your home may be a barrier to aging in place? Does it have long staircases? Is there a basement and an attic? Will your elderly loved one require access to each level? It’s wise to consider installing a stair lift if the older adult in your home contends with mobility issues. Many people don’t consider this before considering moving Mom and Dad back in.
“There just aren’t enough homes that are designed to make life easier, keep us healthier or support us when we need it,” insists DeVol Design.Build.Remodel. The Ohio-based company is dedicated to helping people overcome aging in place barriers through remodelling projects.
Advantage Home Health Solutions is just as dedicated to making aging in place much easier for seniors. In addition to stair lifts, we offer a wide variety of mobility solutions and accessibility devices including wheelchairs and scooters. To learn more about them, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!