There’s a growing ‘aging in place’ movement, whose members want to continue living in their own homes for as long as possible. But that doesn’t mean keeping everything the same, until a fall or injury (or the threat of one) forces a change in residence. Rather, wise aging in place involves making your home into a space where you can live safely and independently for years to come.
If the home you love gives you joy, and you’re determined to stay there, welcome to the movement! Use the 6 signs below to test how well you have prepared, and see what more you can do to age in place with wisdom and foresight.
1: You’ve Minimized Your Fall Risk
You know that your muscle strength, eyesight, flexibility, core balance, and other functionalities can change through the years, and you’re not about to let a preventable fall land you in the hospital. So you’ve taken pains to keep pathways clear and address tripping hazards, maybe even getting a professional assessment from an in home occupational therapist. And just in case you do have a fall, you know the procedure for safely getting back up.
2: You’ve Introduced Adaptive Solutions
When a task gets more difficult to complete, or you don’t feel as safe, you aren’t afraid to explore easy modifications. Whether it’s grab bars keeping you safe in the bathroom, or added lighting to reduce nighttime hazards, you welcome the changes. In the long run, you know that solutions like these mean staying put and being more independent.
3: You’ve Got Your Medications Managed
There’s no guesswork in your medication regimen. Even if you haven’t had a medication reconciliation with a home health nurse recently, you know exactly what to take and when. If following a schedule is not your strong suit, you’ve made up for it with a pill dispensing system that sounds an alarm when it’s time to take another dose. What’s more, you keep a current, detailed list of all prescription and non-prescription drugs that you’re taking, and you regularly share it with your healthcare providers.
4: You’ve Done Your Advanced Care Planning
You’re staying at home for the long haul, so you don’t need legal documents about healthcare decisions right now, right? Hardly! Even though you hope you don’t need it, you aren’t leaving anything to chance. You’ve thought hard about what care you would or would not want — in case you were ever unable to speak for yourself — and you’ve made it official in a legally binding advance directive, such as the do-it-yourself 5 Wishes document. And you’ve also talked to doctors as well as family and friends to make absolutely clear what your decisions would be.
5: You’ve Found a Network of Helpers
Ann Landers didn’t have all the answers herself; she knew when to turn to the experts. You’re the same way when it comes to aging in place: you’re not afraid to reach out to friends, caregivers, and neighbors if there’s a task or project that you can’t safely do yourself. Likewise, you keep your finger on the pulse of helpful community services and have researched your transportation options in case driving yourself is not feasible.
6: You’ve Prepared for Anything, Just in Case
You know there’s still a chance that an unforeseen emergency could happen — power outage, injury, or something else out of your control. That’s where your emergency plan comes in. Thanks to some advanced preparation and coordination with loved ones and caregivers, you know just what to do and who to call (on the list of numbers posted where everyone can see). And for the best possible peace of mind, you invested in a personal emergency response system like Residential Nurse Alert, for any health concern that shouldn’t wait.
With services like home safety assessments, medication reconciliations, strength-building exercises, and Residential Nurse Alert, Residential Home Health is ready to help you manage your health challenges and continue aging in place. Click the image below for our instructions on how to safely get up from a fall, and call (888)930-WELL (9355) to speak with a nurse about your specific situation.