Today more than 70% of people over 45 plan to retire in their current residence. Are we as a nation properly prepared to help aging family members stay in their homes? Do we know what to do to help seniors live independently as long as possible?
Experts say that aging in place technology and services is becoming a $30 billion a year industry. A recent survey of federal and local service providers shows nearly 70% now offer programs to help seniors age in place or find other alternatives to nursing homes or institutional care.
The task of helping elders clearly falls to caregivers. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, in 2015 about 34.2 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older. The majority of caregivers (82%) cared for one other adult, while 15% cared for 2 adults, and 3% for 3 or more adults.
There’s no doubt that people like to be in control of their lives regardless of age, but what’s involved? As we grow older and our motor and physical skills change, reaching and lifting becomes limited. Depth perception is diminished. Hearing lessens. Visual ability weakens, and non-contrasting colors become difficult to see. We need assistance with many activities, yet still want to maintain some control and independence.
Falls are the cause of one-half of all accidental deaths in the home. The majority of these at-home falls occur in the bathroom, and the risk of falling increases with age. [Read more…]