As people age, they may not always go through happy times. New and difficult challenges may develop as people face not only medical conditions but also financial or social issues as well.
Here are the most critical challenges that aging people are going to have to deal sooner or later in life:
1. Turning the house into an accessible place
Zero-step entrance into a home, wide doorways or single-floor living is only some of the solutions to use for helping the seniors have a better life.
Improving the safety and the accessibility of a place isn’t that pricey, especially if you do due diligence about it. It’s best that you take the matter into your hands a long time before the older persons in your life deal with mobility problems. Adding some fortified walls now is going the ease out the effort of adding some good grab bars in a couple of years. Stay alert and identify the alteration you can make around the house without professional help.
Many of the older citizens are going to need financial assistance for making the adjustments in their homes. However, it doesn’t always have to be about significant investments. Paying attention to the display of the furniture, leaving free space in rooms and using safe furniture can also improve a senior’s life.
- Lift chairs- always safe for the elderly use
Even though they resemble the recliners a lot, lift chairs are medical equipment that can help anyone dealing with mobility issues. They come with buttons and not a lever, which makes the operation a breeze. A lift chair helps one standing up and getting out of a comfortable chair a lot easier and safer. The variety of lift chairs is generous, and they come in all sorts of sizes and materials. They can also be customized according to one’s particular needs. Heat or massage are only a few of the many functions of lift chairs and people dealing with sore joints, arthritis or other medical conditions should look into buying a lift chair.
2. Benefitting the support services
Seniors living alone but struggling with various health conditions or even mental decline may have to apply for support services within their home. However, benefitting from the community/home-based programs isn’t always a breeze. The state funds many applications, but they may cover only a part of the people living in a specific area. Seniors that access the support services in their home have to accomplish particular guidelines.
The location of the housing is a matter as well. One senior living closer to a medical care or recreational center is going to find the access a lot easier, for the obvious reasons.
3. Keeping the housing affordable
Being able to live in an accessible place is quite a challenge for senior adults. Unfortunately for them, it seems that many are spending even more than half of their income on housing.
The risk for the older renters to end up cost-burdened is worth to consider. We should also mention that the homeownership rate is increasing as we speak (almost 80% for the older households). Therefore, the owners are more numerous and make up most of the cost-burdened older houses. Owners carrying mortgages into older ages may have to face high costs that they cannot afford.
Older people may have to cut back on food, transportation or healthcare to solve household spending.
Some safe and early financial planning, refinancing or reverse mortgage, lowering the utility costs or making the home energy efficient are only some of the many ways to cut down the future spending on the household.
4. The isolation
Being able to stay in touch with their neighbors or people in their community is one serious problem for senior adults. Old people don’t have to live all alone in the middle of the desert to feel isolated. The unsafe streets or too long distances between them and their friends can easily make the older people isolate themselves from the world.
Many organizations work for the older people and the large apartment complexes accommodating a significant number of seniors is a great solution nowadays.
Isolation should never be undermined as it’s a common problem in low-density and rural areas. It’s even more complicated when people stop driving their cars, turning the isolation problem into a fundamental cause for the poor quality of life.
Older people should consider alternative transportation (car-share services or paratransit) and technology as well. Virtual medical appointments is a real solution in many situations. However, human connection is always the best medicine, so make sure you address the isolation problem in the right way.
Instead of a conclusion
You shouldn’t lose hope after going over the challenges above that come with aging. Aging isn’t going to end your life, as long as you’re planning at both individual and societal level.
Going over the financial and physical difficulties are going to help the senior people, and this step should never be skipped on. The more they know about the challenges that may lie ahead (even though it’s not mandatory), the easier is going to be for them to handle the new type of life.
Taking care of the home and making the alterations for adjusting to the mobility-related issues, finding a new home near a shopping center or closer to the family and friends are also options to take into consideration. Going over some fundamental principles of creating a safer home for an older person is also crucial; there are so many tricks and tips to try!
The alternative to the current residence should also be in the cards as it can provide a higher quality of life.
Taking your time and talking with the older people in your life about the new style of life is the very first step to take. After all, the care and the worry come from a place of love.