These days, senior citizens are able to and are choosing to age in place. This means that they will continue to live in their own homes, as opposed to living in an assisted care facility (such as a nursing home or retirement home) or moving in with a family member. This is a good thing because seniors who are able to age in place tend to have a better quality of life than their counterparts who do not. However, it is important to note that not all seniors aging in place have the best quality of life. Here are three main ways to ensure that your aging loved one will have the best quality of life.
#1: Through Helpful Home Renovations
Some elders may have to move out of their homes because they’re not elder-friendly, but most of the time, small renovations can be made to make a home safer for seniors to live in alone. Usually, the most common changes made to an elder’s home are in the bathroom, where slips and falls are most likely to happen. Many seniors have their bathrooms renovated to include a walk-in bathtub in the place of their old one that required them to step in. As we age, our joints are not as fluid as they once were, so high steps aren’t always elder-friendly.
In addition to bathroom changes, seniors who live in two-story homes may need to consider installing lifts on stairways. These lifts are designed to carry them up and down the stairs while they’re in a seated position.
Necessary home renovations are a very effective way to keep your aging loved ones in their homes. This will not only prevent common injuries typically found in and around their home, but this will drastically improve their quality of life and potentially ward off depression due to feeling a lack of independence.
#2: By Staying Socially Active
Social interaction is very important for seniors to have the best quality of life possible— just as it is at any age of development. Seniors are susceptible to depression due to a number of losses, which can include the loss of a spouse or friends, the loss of working due to retirement, or even the loss of independence due to a chronic illness or disease. Socializing with others is very healthy and mentally stimulating for seniors. This can be with people their own age or even just with family members.
Taking up a new hobby can also help improve an elder’s quality of life. Hobbies are often social activities, and it also gives them a sense of belonging and purpose. A hobby like gardening gives them something to care for, while the creative arts allow them to be expressive.
#3: By Staying Physically Active
Physical activity is important at every stage of life, and it is especially important for seniors. Even moderate exercise such as walking and stretching help with flexibility, cardiovascular, joint, and muscle health. It also decreases the risk of cardiovascular issues and arthritis, while also easing some of the pain associated with some chronic illnesses.
Traveling is another good way for seniors to stay active, and this can be traveling around the city, the state, the country, or even the world. Traveling also presents another opportunity for seniors to be socially active. A good, non-intimidating way for seniors to travel is with a group by charter bus or some similar form of transportation. Charter buses are much more comfortable than your typical buses and safer. Some seniors may be hesitant of traveling due to the fear of being uncomfortable during a long trip, so a charter bus eliminates this problem.
The key things to keep in mind when thinking about your aging loved one who has chosen to age in place is their safety and sanity. They may be perfectly capable of living on their own alone, but being alone may not be good for their mental health. A good quality of life should not neglect physical, mental, or emotional health, but consider all of these aspects.