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A Comprehensive Guide on How to Age in Place Gracefully

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Guide On: Six Steps to Aging in Place Gracefully

Every phase in our lives brings with it new opportunities. Your golden years are your time to pamper yourself and reward yourself for a life well-lived. This is the time to cultivate new hobbies, make new friends, reinvent yourself, or simply just relax at home with a hot cup of tea. 
Seniors worldwide are choosing to age in place rather than spending their years in a home. Approximately 90% of the elderly in the United States live in their own homes or a family member’s home. This shows that preferences are changing. Aging in place gives the elderly a lot of confidence, empowers them to be independent, and is a lot easier on the pocket. 

Benefits of aging in place:

  • It provides comfort and security.

  • Staying in a familiar neighborhood can help keep depression away.

  • It promotes independence and, in turn, raises self-esteem.

  • Less financial stress.

So how to age in place gracefully? Fortunately, science and technology have made it possible for seniors all over the world to age in place safely. All you need is the right equipment and a reliable support system. The following are six steps to set yourself up to age in place. 

1. Perform a Home Safety Check

The most important aspect of aging in place is to ensure home safety. You should set up your home to support the movements of a senior. This means that you should place your furniture in a way where there is no risk of tripping, bumping, or any other accidents. Old houses tend to have a lot of risk factors. Be sure to thoroughly analyze everything before you proceed further. Other safety measures include installing non-slip surfaces, switching to lever door knobs, and installing an emergency alert system that makes it easy to summon help in an emergency. Our goal is to prevent falls or accidents by anticipating and intercepting them before they happen.

2. Make Health a Priority

Maintaining your general health is the only thing that will keep ailments away. It is important to ensure a good diet. With age, some people may require additional supplements to stay healthy. Consult your physician to see if you need supplements and start them as soon as you can. Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day goes a long way in maintaining your health. Meditation or yoga can help you manage your stress and keep anxiety at bay. It is also crucial that you get regular medical check-ups so you can nip any ailments quickly in the bud, should they arise. The best thing is to stay active and stay busy.

3. Set Up a Transportation Plan

You can't be cooped up in the house all day. When you need to step out, it is essential to have a safe transport option available when needed. Perhaps a family member or a driver can drive you around. Or you can travel by cab if you are comfortable with it. Lyft, Uber, and many other local taxi services can be easily called upon when needed.

In the event of an accident or an emergency, a transportation plan is a must. The time between the accident and reaching the hospital should be as short as possible to minimize further complications. Therefore, setting up a proper transport plan with sufficient back-ups is essential to the safety of seniors who wish to age in place.

4. Invest in Mobility Aids

Managing mobility problems as you age can be a challenge for some seniors. Getting in and out of bed, bathtub, and climbing stairs seem like routine, everyday movements. But these can become difficult for some seniors. There are scores of mobility aids out there that are just waiting to be used. Bed step stools, bathroom grab bars, bath step stools, and handrails are just a few things that can help ease you into those movements so that you don’t strain any muscles or injure yourself while doing daily activities. 

Mobility issues can creep up very slowly and present an issue before you realize it. So, how do you tell if you need mobility aids? The answer is simple; if you're observing aches and pains in your legs or having trouble walking, you should invest in mobility aids to ease your pain and support your movements.

5. Befriend Technology

Being moderately tech-savvy has a huge number of benefits. It is easier to connect with people far away, you can book a cab almost instantly, you have entertainment at your fingertips, and you can also get groceries and medication delivered to your home. If you are already tech-savvy, you can perhaps try pairing your phone with your mobility devices at home. This can help to prevent falls and keep you safe around your home. Try practicing basic apps on your smartphone that can help with all of the above, and you will soon find that things can run smoothly with minimum effort. Look into Long-term Care Insurance

6. Look into Long-term Care Insurance

Aging, even for seniors with minimal health issues, can become expensive. There might come a time when you have to start taking long-term medication. There may even come a time when you might need a "stay-in" caregiver. Unfortunately, Medicare and other medical insurance policies will not cover long-term care. So, even if certain issues don’t seem imminent at the moment, it might be worth investing in long-term care insurance.

Final Thought

It is never too late to plan for the future. You may be healthy and happy now, but life changes, and we grow. It is easier to adapt to a new phase of life if you are prepared to take on its challenges. Aging in place is no different. With just a little bit of pre-planning, you can create a safe home set up with all the right equipment where any senior can live a safe and happy life. So don’t wait until it’s too late. Start preparing while you have the time, and don’t think twice about investing in mobility devices around the home if you think you need them.

For more information about our products call us at (619) 633-3305.

Vince Baiera

Vince Baiera is the founder of step2health, a mobility aids and wellness company for older adults. He is a former ICU Nurse of the Cleveland Clinic and Duke University Hospital in the Cardiac ICU. With years of working on the frontlines, Vince noticed the struggles of older adults and people with mobility issues that became an impediment for both patients and their caretakers. He then designed and created the patented product, Step2Bed (and its variants) that helps seniors and those with mobility issues safely get in and out of bed. His philosophy concerning aging is to plan ahead and start with simple home and life modifications to avoid being overwhelmed at retirement.

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