In our youth, we take our independence and the control we have over our own lives for granted, rarely sparing a thought for how this might change as we age. But as the years creep up on us, it’s important to consider a new approach to how we live, and this involves making a few significant changes and adjustments along the way, in order to enjoy the independent lifestyle we expect, desire and value.
Research has shown that nearly 70% of Australians prefer to age at home as opposed to living in residential care1. Ageing in place independently and enjoying a full life on your own terms is possible, especially when empowered with in-home care services that share the same values of supporting independence with respect and dignity. That said, adapting to changes in our own abilities over time, is not without its challenges, but Home Care Assistance makes this easy with creative ways to maintain the activities that bring purpose, enjoyment, and independence to our lives.
Making small changes to the environment in which we live, can be modified in so many ways to enable and encourage our independence. Safety is of paramount importance when it comes to independent living while ageing in place, with minimal risk to safety. At Home Care Assistance, our experienced carers can assist in identifying potential risks and explore alternatives accordingly.
Let’s take stairs for example. They are a considerable risk for many people living independently at home, even more so in double story homes. A possible solution to this would be to set up the main living area to work primarily from ground floor rooms, especially the bedroom and bathrooms, as this change could significantly reduce risk in the home. When it comes to bathrooms, slippery surfaces combined with potential unsteadiness, can lead to loss of balance or falls. By installing handrails in showers and toilets, as well as where there are stairs both inside and outside of the home, is perfect for additional support for optimum safety while ageing in place.
Having flat surfaces to walk around on helps manage the risk of any further falls in the home too, so removing floor rugs and smoothing out any change in floor levels with a ramp, will help avoid tripping over. Placement of furniture can also be a trip hazard, even so it’s important to make changes here by ensuring that there is adequate spacing between coffee tables and lounge furniture and if needs be, minimising the number of furniture pieces in the home. Falls are also common when getting in and out of chairs, so looking at armed seats with a bit of height and not too deep, are ideal when it comes to independent living.
Adequate lighting in the home also plays an important role in keeping us safe as we age in place, ensuring that all areas of the home both inside and out, are well lit at all times.
Minimising the effort needed to open doors, drawers and cabinets is another helpful modification to make in the home. If you don’t already have drawers, cabinets and doors with built-in tracks for easy opening and closing, then this is definitely something worth considering. You want easy access with minimal effort, which can make the world of difference when it comes to difficulties associated with arthritis and overall frailty.
Over the years, one of the great advances in independent living has also come from technology. The world we live in today has a technological solution for most things and taking advantage of modern technology can really support ageing in place independently. Larger buttons and text on mobile phones, as well as amplified phones, can be easier to operate, while the use of tablets – not the swallowing kind – has helped keep families connected with video calls. It can feel a bit foreign and overwhelming at the best of times trying to learn how these gadgets all work, so voice activated devices for managing things like alarms, phone calls, TV, music, heating, and lighting controls, can make using technology simpler and life so much easier. For those of us who simply aren’t tech savvy, at Home Care Assistance, we have you covered. All it takes is a call to your care manager, who will arrange to have this set up for you and help troubleshoot.
Living independently at home does not mean being on your own entirely. There are so many wonderful support options available to you, so take advantage of them. As the saying goes, “…a little bit of help can go a long way”, so when it comes to ageing in place, in-home care helps us to live independently in the comfort of our own homes. It is normal to feel a little reluctant and unsure, but which is why at Home Care Assistance, we are here to help make life easier!
Daily living tasks can become overwhelming and sometimes difficult as we age, with simple tasks such as doing the laundry, changing bed linen, doing house- or yard work, not to mention shopping and cooking. At Home Care Assistance, we are here to assist you, with household tasks and even supporting seniors with direct care tasks, such as dressing and hygiene. Our services are tailored to your needs, whether that’s a few hours a week or more.
A meaningful life as we are ageing in place can be attained through engagement with the things we love. Simple changes, especially with the support of an in-home care agency like Home Care Assistance, can bring enormous benefit and comfort to your quality of life while living independently at home. Home Care Assistance has viable solutions when it comes to supporting independent living. For more information, get in touch with a member of our team today!
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As a leading age care provider, Home Care Assistance offers tailored in-home care services for older Australians, enabling them to live happier and healthier lives in the comfort of their own homes.
We offer private and government subsidised Care Packages and have office locations that are a registered NDIS provider. Our Care Workers undergo extensive training in order to deliver unmatched in-home aged care services where people can continue ageing in place. We are proud ambassadors of the My Aged Care government funded aged care program, enabling Australians to successfully navigate the process and gain approval for in-home care support packages. Home Care Assistance offers hourly care, specialised care, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, hospital to home care, and 24 hour in home care.