Aging Self Sufficiently: In Your Own Home

Posted on Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 at 10:46 am by makennagoodman

How many people do you know, who are worried about their aging parents? Or maybe you’re an aging person yourself. In this economic climate, it’s so scary to think about caring for loved ones–not to mention ourselves–when the money’s run out. Worse still, the burden an aging parent must fear they’re bestowing upon their kids. But when it comes down to it, everyone wants to retain their independence, no matter how old. And there are ways we can, thankfully, that do not involve a nursing home.

From PlanetGreen:

Let’s be honest: in modern U.S. culture, we don’t necessarily respect old age. I mean, yes—we visit grandma. But how many people do you know whose grandparents (or parents), once they hit a certain age, are sent to assisted living centers? Granted, everyone’s trying to get by, make their money, put food on their kids’ tables, but it seems like nursing homes are the most common answer to “what should I do with my aging parents?” —at least for those who can afford it. But it doesn’t have to be; there is a way for your aging loved ones to stay safe and independent in their own home, as they age.

According to Adelaide Altman, author of ElderHouse: Staying Safe and Independent in Your Own Home As You Age:

Science has shown that successful aging depends on good lifetime habits; to a lesser extent, good genes; and, to an increasingly greater extent, an environment favorable to your physical and emotional selves. Your own home is of primary importance, and deserves more than a random pile of mental promissory notes: you will fix those steps…you will do something about that kitchen…you will install a grab bar in the bathtub. Prepare now for future safety, accessibility, and comfort, for yourself and those who matter to you. And do it now.

Someone in their 60s recently said to me: “I don’t want it to get to the point of being too late.” According to her, one never knows what can happen. Instead of waiting for her health to deteriorate, or for a fall to disable her, she’s taking her life into her own hands. She’s considering ways to downsize her house, and make more manageable her possessions and responsibilities, so that her kids are not the bearers of her burdens. But they’re not about to put her in a home—one, because they can’t afford the expense, and two because she’s a free-spirited woman who loves life, and values her independence. For as long as possible, she’s going to do it on her own. [...]

Read the entire article here.

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