As we age, it is natural for us to reassess our living arrangements. Some may have health or physical limitations that make it difficult to remain living at home, some may consider downsizing, moving to a retirement home or moving in with family. While there are many benefits to these, many prefer to remain in their own home for as long as possible. Staying at home can be more comfortable, familiar, and even more affordable than moving. The good news is that there are steps you can take to make this possible. Here we discuss some tips for those who want to live at home for longer.
The first step towards staying at home for longer is ensuring that your home is safe and free of hazards that can cause injuries. A fall can be devastating and effect you staying in your home longer. Assess your home and remove anything that may cause you to trip or slip. You may need to clear walkways of furniture and other obstacles, replace rugs with nonslip ones, tidy up electrical cords and clear any items that can be a tripping hazard such as boxes, shoes and the like. Remember, falls can happen anywhere around the house; therefore, you should also ensure that your outdoor space is safe.
For a fall prevention checklist click here Fall-Prevention-Checklist.pdf (cota.com.au)
Make Home Modifications
If you have mobility issues, then stairs, narrow doorways, and slippery floors can become challenging. To ensure you can stay home longer and be safe, consider getting some home modifications done. This may include installing walk-in showers, grab bars, non-slip flooring, lower shelves for easy reach, night lights and wheelchair ramps. These modifications not only make your home more comfortable to live in but can also increase the value of your home if you decide to sell later.
It is easy to give up on physical activity as we age, especially if you have physical or health issues. However, the benefits of exercising significantly outweigh not exercising. Exercise can improve your balance and even enhance your mental wellbeing. It doesn’t need to be too strenuous, however regular activity such as simple stretches, walking, yoga or swimming can go a long way in boosting your health, longevity, and happiness and help you live at home longer.
Always consult your doctor when choosing to start a new physical activity.
Get Support Services
Living at home for longer can often require a level of support. This could be in the form of in-home care services, transportation, meal delivery, or household chores/repairs. There are many government-funded programs that support seniors in their homes, such as Home Care Packages, Meals on Wheels, transportation assistance and the Community Visitors Scheme. You may also consider asking for help from family members or neighbours. By outsourcing some of your daily tasks, you can focus on enjoying your independence and living your life to the fullest.
For more information visit www.myagedcare.gov.au
Living at home as a senior can sometimes be isolating, especially if you have mobility or communication issues. However, staying connected to your community can improve your overall well-being and happiness. Consider joining a senior centre, a community club, or a local volunteer group. You may also want to explore online communities, social media, or video calls to stay in touch with friends and family. Remember, you are not alone, and there is always someone you can connect with.
Living at home for longer requires some level of planning and preparation. This includes financial planning, healthcare planning, and emergency planning. Consider hiring a financial planner to help you manage your retirement savings and expenses. Review your health insurance coverage and plan for long-term care needs. Make sure that you have a plan in place in case of an emergency, such as a power outage, natural disaster, or medical emergency. By being proactive, you can avoid potential stress and risks in the future.
Embrace New Technology
Technology has made living at home for longer more accessible and convenient. Many companies have developed user-friendly technology platforms and gadgets to help seniors retain their independence and live at home for longer. Utilising these products and services can mean you can manage your own health, safety, and socialisation needs from home. This includes home automation systems, personal safety monitors, medical alert systems, and video conferencing. By embracing new technology, you can enhance your quality of life and keep up with the changing times.
Growing older doesn’t have to mean giving up your independence or leaving the comfort of your home. With the right tools, planning, and support, you can remain living at home for longer and enjoy your golden years to the fullest. With our tips, you can continue to live independently, with grace and dignity.