Aging Gracefully in Place
As kids, we couldn’t wait to grow... older, taller, bigger, stronger, and most of all, up. Now, here we are, adults. And how do we feel about aging? If you’re like most people, you have trepidations. Some are financial: can you afford to retire and live comfortably? Many have to do with comfort and quality of life. By 2030, 20% of the U.S. population will be 65 or older. How many will be able to age gracefully in place? In a recent The Hartford and MIT AgeLab survey, 72% of people 50+ said they want to remain in their current home for the rest of their life. Yet few acknowledged having a plan in place to fulfill this goal.
Accessing Happy, Healthy Aging
Accessibility is key. Will you be able to get from room to room? Is your home close to family, friends, dining, shopping, recreation and entertainment? Is your neighborhood safe for driving and walking? If you become unable to drive, are transportation options available?
Making changes in your home now can enable you to age in place. If failing vision is a problem, increased lighting can help. Changing round door knobs to levers can make opening and closing doors easier for arthritic hands. Empty-nesters may want to downsize to a smaller, one-story house now when the move is much easier to accomplish.
Despite the many jokes about aging, I believe we all should be grateful to get older, especially considering the alternative! Planning ahead and maintaining a positive attitude will go a long way toward a happy, healthy and long life!
–Hospice of the North Coast