Don’t Try This At Home (If You Want to Age in Place)
Aging in place, otherwise known as staying home for as long as possible, is what most people want for their lives. They want to be independent, comfortable, and in control of their circumstances and surroundings, regardless of the changes that growing older may bring.
If you or someone you know would do anything to stay home, following these house rules are bound to obliterate all plans of staying put:
- Let the phone ring when your kids are calling. This is a surefire way to throw your adult children into panic and paranoia, followed by planning your move to a senior living community, or one of their homes, immediately.
- Move furniture & DIY (do-it-yourself). The doctor said not to bend, lift, or strain to pick up heavy items. But if the living room couch just doesn’t look right in that corner anymore, or you’ve got to take a look at that record player on the top shelf, don’t call your grandsons to come help you… it only wastes time.
- Slide down the banister. If it’s too difficult to get up and down the stairs without risking a fall, by all means — ditch the cane, throw away the information your son gathered about installing a stair lift, and go for a ride like you did when you were 12.
- Keep your doors and windows open/unlocked. This is especially effective when done overnight.
- Don’t put any lights on when you need to use the bathroom at night. It’s a quick and easy way to cause an unnecessary fall, especially since you’ve been collecting the week’s laundry and mail in the hallway.
- Get rid of the grab bars, non-slip rugs and mats in the bathroom/shower. Isn’t your balance better when the surfaces below you are in their most slippery state? And you keep bumping your head on those grab bars; they’re more harmful than helpful, in your opinion.
- Don’t throw out anything in the fridge, pantry or medicine cabinets. Someone might be able to use those expired antidepressants and moldy peaches.
- Refuse to learn how to use computers, tablets and cell phones. You want to maintain your privacy, right? Isolating yourself and cutting off new means of communication is a good way to show your independence.
All joking aside (Happy April 1st!), we offer many useful tips and resources for successful aging in place here at the 101 Mobility blog. Check out the posts and help yourself or a loved one make their stay-at-home-for-as-long-as-possible dreams come true!
Also, if an older loved one is truly having difficulty managing household tasks at home (i.e. laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc.), consider bringing in home care help. It’s a great alternative to full-time residential care. Learn more here.