You’re Getting Older, But…
You’re Getting Older, But…
Those tell-tell signs are there.
First you got married. Then your kids were born. Before you knew it, they were off to college. Maybe they are already out of college. Maybe THEY are married. Maybe you even are (the word that shall not be mentioned)…
Want more signs? Maybe you’re not running that 5K or marathon as fast as you used to. Or instead of playing two rounds of golf a day on that golf trip, you’re only playing one. And by the way, how are you enjoying that new knee?
You aren’t alone. There are more than 38 million 55+ households in the U.S., and that number is growing. AARP recently conducted a survey, almost 90% of Americans older than 65 say they want to remain in their home for as long as possible.
The good news is that modern medicine and our stubborn Baby Boomer mentality are indeed slowing the aging process. We watch our diets, we exercise, we get all those screenings. So we remain productive. For goodness sake, a 100-year old man just finished a marathon last month.
Which brings us to where we will be living as we age. More and more, we want to stay in our current homes. Aging in Place is defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age.” This trend is called “aging in place.” It has become so important in my profession that I become a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) in 2001.
So if you want to “age in place,” here are just a few things we can consider:
- Install an elevator if you live in a multi level home
- Treat yourself to some nice amenities like a home theater or home exercise room
- Make sure that doorways and hallways are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs
- Position light switches in locations that you can reach in a wheelchair
- Put a master bedroom on the main floor if you live in a multi-level house
- Be leery of installing shag carpeting; wheelchairs and walkers have a tough time with it
- In the kitchen, be aware of the height of countertops, the sink, the stove, etc. You don’t want to have to do too much bending.
- In the bathroom, be aware of the height of sinks
- Install a zero threshold shower with a bench
- Speaking of bathrooms, make sure the shower has a seat and grab bars. Even if you are not installing the grab bars now, make sure there is wood behind the tiles so you can eventually install them
- Same holds true for grab bars by the toilet. And make sure the toilet seat is high enough so that it is easy for you to get up.
Want more ideas on aging in place? Check out this link on the National Association of Home Builders Website: http://www.nahb.org/generic.aspx?genericContentID=89801&fromGSA=1
So yes, you are getting older. But these can be the best years of your life. Enjoy.