As Baby Boomers continue to age, the term “aging in place” has become popular in describing their desire to want to live out their years in their own homes, without the need for assisted living facilities.
This is understandable, as people are living longer, healthier, and more active lives than ever before. A study by AARP found that 87% of folks 65 and over wanted to stay in their homes as they age, without transferring to a facility or living with a relative. Those numbers are staggering, especially considering U.S. census data for 2010, which found that “The number of people 65 and older in the United States is expected to increase to 55 million in 2020; to some 70 million by 2030, and to 88.5 million — or 20 percent of the population — in 2050.”
The number of people choosing to age in place has just begun to climb. Over the next 20 years, we will be able to see the full impact that aging in place has on society.
In order for comfortable and practical aging in place however, homes need to most likely be upgraded or modified in order to offer complete accessibility. The slideshow at the top shows some examples of home upgrades suitable for aging in place. According to SeniorResource.com, the main concerns that need to be addressed are issues pertaining to:
- Balance & Coordination Problems
- Hearing Impairment
- Limited Reach
- Limited Vision
- Poor Hand & Arm Strength
- Trouble Bending
- Trouble Walking & Climbing Stairs
- Using a Wheelchair
Many older Americans do not like facing their own limitations, and hesitate to make substantial improvements on their homes, since many access and mobility products have a rather “industrial” feel and appearance. They do not want their homes to look like hospital rooms; and this is understandable. However, more modern options exist today than ever before, and with a little creativity, a home can be modified and yet feel as warm and comforting as ever.
For multi-story homes, a stairlift is essential for older people. Accidental falls are one of the top killers of people 65 and up; and stairway falls are the most common type! A stairlift will ensure safe access to the upper and lower floors of your home for years to come. Modern stairlifts are long-lasting, comfortable, and have an attractive design.
Other improvements include strategic placement of amenities and resources in the home. Raising the height of the dishwasher from the floor for instance, will help to reduce excessive bending over. Widening certain doorways is essential if a mobility device such as a wheelchair or walker is ever employed.
At Centerspan, we understand the desire to age in place and keep the home you love! Our expert staff is dedicated to finding the appropriate solutions for your home and your life. Call us today and schedule your FREE in-home assessment, and let us go to work for you!
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