Are You in Denial about Aging?
Bill, the manager of Knoxville Aging in Place, and I recently had a booth at the Dogwood House and Garden show where we exhibited our Knoxville Aging in Place business line of products and services. Over three days we met with many adults who wanted to know what we did. The responses were fascinating to both Bill and me because so many of the customers said, “I am not there, yet!”
One customer was a woman who was 88 years old and had been out of the hospital for two weeks because of a bad fall. The reality is she is one of the lucky ones because she was able to leave the hospital and go back to living her normal life at home. This is not the usual case as the statistics show that most older adults who fall either end up in a nursing home never to return to their home or even more tragic die from their injuries.
Our hope is that we can encourage everyone, no matter their age, to reduce their in-home fall risks by preparing their home with a plan to age-in-place. We all progress in age and there is no shame in admitting we may need to make a few adjustments in our house to help us get around a bit more safely. This might mean something as simple as adding a threshold to a transition step in the house to reduce a trip hazard. It could mean something a bit more elaborate like adding a platform lift or stair lift to access the upper floors of your home without having to climb stairs. Many folks are still going down to the basement to do laundry. Wouldn’t a stairlift make it easier to go up and down with a laundry basket? Maybe relocating a laundry room to the main floor would be a smart move.
We also met several folks who told us they were building a new home without steps, increasing the width of their doorways and making it so they could enjoy their older years without the worry of not being able to live safely in their home. They had a plan in place and were making it happen. We applaud those people who have the foresight to prepare for their aging years. Not everyone has the capability or the financial means to build a new house. This is why we started Knoxville Aging in Place because we wanted to be able to provide you with options to remain living in the home you love.
There are many products and services that were not even available to the general public a few years ago. Technology has come a long way which can help alert family members or friends if something doesn’t seem right at their loved one’s home. There are kitchen shelving ideas to help roll out pots and pans so you don’t have to get on your hands and knees to look for one. Curbless showers can be installed in as little as a few days. Grab bars can be installed to steady one when getting out of the shower or getting up from the toilet. None of these things need to look institutional and once installed you will wonder why you waited so long to install these options in your home. It can add a sense of security and peace of mind to your overall well-being.
Putting your head in the sand and ignoring the reality of aging is not a plan. Waiting until something happens like a serious fall often means someone else ends up making decisions for you that may not be what you wish. Give us a call and let us be your guide as we create a plan with you. Learn what is possible to help you age in the home you love.