How To Successfully Age In Place
By Eileen Doherty, MS ~
Denver, Colo. – Surveys generally show that older adults want to age in place. Older adults value living in their own home and the community. Living in one’s own home often contributes to a longer life.
Two factors are often essential when considering if you can stay in your own home. One is health and the other is economics.
Technology has become almost a must for individuals who want to continue to live in their own home. In this 21st century, wearable devices such as necklaces, wrist and arm bands, and leg bands are attached to smart phones or tracking devices that monitor health and activity; cameras help with safety and security; and motion devices allow us to see movement. Connected to a smart phone, families and others provide oversight with all sorts of devices. Even if they are miles away, family and friends can be in touch and provide help in a moment’s notice with these types of devices.
And who would have thought the pandemic would be so easily transferrable to living independently. The pandemic has forced us to see our doctor online. Using telehealth. a medical team can monitor your blood pressure, your heart pacemaker and other vital signs. Medical equipment is installed in your home and connected to your doctor’s office for review and monitoring.
Ordering groceries and other supplies online and having them delivered to the front door has become commonplace. Store shelves are bare, replaced by warehouses. Companies have changed their workforce to pull orders, package goods, stock delivery vehicles, and deliver packages to the front door in a touchless manner. The older adult does not have to leave their home or even interact with the delivery person, making these interactions safe from abuse and exploitation.
In addition to health concerns, economics often drives older adults to leave their home. Some people either choose or are forced to sell their current home and rent or purchase a smaller home. Far worse are individuals who are unable to continue to afford the rent, taxes, or utilities and find themselves moving due to lack of resources. Affordable housing is out of the reach for many people with limited incomes. A few people are able to take advantage of sharing housing either moving in with family, renting out rooms in their current home, or downsizing.
The Society is offering a four-part series to share information and find possible solutions to help you continue to live in your own home. Free sessions are scheduled from 1-2 pm. Register at www.senioranswers.org for one or more sessions. Sessions are April 15 – Using Technology to Stay in your Home; May 20, Living with Someone – Family, Friends or Roommates; June 17, Downsizing to a Smaller Home; and July 15, Bringing Services in the Home. Call 303-333-3482 if want to register by phone or have questions.
Eileen Doherty, MS is the Executive Director of the Colorado Gerontological Society. Her areas of expertise include management and administration of nonprofit organizations, education and training on issues related to older adults, advocacy and policy development on senior issues, and clinical practice in working with seniors and families to manage their lives in the later years. She has been the Director of the Society since 1982. She teaches Nonprofit Management for Fort Hays State University.