The World Health Organization has been creating awareness for a growing sector in the world: the aging population. Every month, one million people turn 60, most of them in developing countries. In the US alone, seven people turn 65 every minute, for a staggering 10,000 a day, according to 2017 statistics. What this means is that our population is rapidly aging, with more people entering retirement and in need of increasing care. These people deserve to age gracefully, in place, with communities designed to support them- not shun them. Many elderly people find it difficult to navigate roadways, sidewalks, and shops easily, or make the needed trips to the store or keep up with home repairs. For these seniors, elderly communities built specifically for the aging are very good. Of course, some seniors don’t have a choice and they must age in place as best they can, as long as they can.
In America, there are some communities of older people who live in a condo-like property with their property managed by the community and their needs for food, socialization, and transportation met within their immediate neighborhood or even building. There are also more and more communities embracing their aging population with more available activities and support – from food and clothing to care and entertainment. As people are living longer than ever with the help of modern science and technology, it is nice to know that our communities are tuned into the needs of this aging group.
Technology Helping The Elderly Age In Place
Simple technological changes have allowed many elderly people to live comfortably at home for longer, while still feeling safe and secure in the knowledge that help is just a button’s touch away. There are a plentitude of choices when it comes to monitoring systems in the world, but there are some services dedicated to 24/7 response in emergencies. These services are good for active seniors who travel around town, and for those who are more homebound but haven’t got a regular caretaker. Other technologies such as a pull-cord alarm in the bathroom for falls have been standard in facilities for years, but are also becoming commercially available.
Grab bars, when properly installed and anchored, can be a lifesaver in the bathroom. Consider replacing towel racks with grab bars, as many people who fall in the bathroom reach for the towel rack. Grab bars can also be very helpful in long hallways and along stairways, where a traditional railing may not be sturdy enough to fully support the weight of an adult. Along with grab bars for safety, consider non-slip grips for tile bathrooms, and for tubs. Memory foam rugs can be used in kitchens and bathrooms to make standing at the sink easier, but only if they aren’t trip hazards.
Delivery Services: Groceries, Household Goods, and More
There are many new delivery services popping up in the world, which can help elderly people remain at home longer and with more freedom than they might have felt before. Services such as UberEats and GrubHub can deliver food from nearby restaurants to your door. Whole Foods and Amazon.com will deliver groceries and other goods (such as incontinence pads and underwear) to the door as well. Many communities also have senior services which may offer meals or food delivery for free or reduced prices. Check your local community website for more information on what’s available!
Daily Activities for Elderly Residents
Not every community has a robust selection of daily or weekly activities for seniors, but there are probably more than you’d think near you. In Lafayette, for example, there are day trips planned out by the society on aging, which can help alleviate boredom and keep seniors social and active in their community. There have been few studies done specifically on the benefits of senior communities for seniors, but the overall outlook by professionals is that living within a senior-centric community helps keep people happier, if not healthier, than living alone.
According to Forbes, “…living within a community setting, with daily access to friends as well as personal health assistance, dining, wellness and social programs, housekeeping, maintenance, and transportation services – may not only improve quality of life for individuals age 75+, but add to it.” The same can be very true of those living with moderate to severe memory loss or Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other chronic illness. Living in a space designed to help support and care for them can allow a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia to live a calmer, happier life.
Landmark Memory Care – A Place To Help
At Landmark, we keep our residents active within the community, both with day to day activities and with special outings around the community. Our facility also has a garden and pathways to travel, letting our residents wander closer to home, while still under supervision.
For the best chance at aging gracefully, it is important to consider quality of life in all areas, from the activities of daily living to the necessary errands and maintenance needed to keep up a house, a car, or an estate. Making a plan in advance is the best way to help keep your later years simplified. Don’t forget to have your will, trusts, and any powers-of-attorney paperwork updated every five to ten years, depending on changes to your living situation. If you’re considering moving into a facility, you can check out Landmark’s resources page to learn more about facility living.