The most ideal living situation for an elderly person is one where he/she is aging in place. The concept, as we discussed in last week’s blog, refers to living out your days in the comforts of your own home. Being surrounded by family members, as opposed to long-term care facility employees, is what most people would easily consider a preferable existence. However, aging in place doesn’t come easy.
The Government of Canada has published a checklist entitled Thinking About Your Future? Plan Now to Age in Place. The digital booklet helps to prepare elderly individuals to age in place by looking at nine areas of their lives. Included on that list are finances, connections and safety.
Many of us neglect thinking about how we will be able to afford our daily necessities once we retire. Without a retirement plan or investment portfolio, things can get a bit dicey in our older years. The Government of Canada calls upon us all to consider what our financial status and sources of income are now. What will they be like when we are north of 70 or 80 years of age?
The checklist asks us to affirm the following. “I am able to live comfortably within my current income. I have money set aside for unexpected expenses such as health related supports and major home repairs. I have someone I trust that I can consult for financial advice when needed. I have thought about my retirement and the kind of lifestyle I would like to have.”
Being able to draw on family members and friends is more important than we may assume. Too often, when we consider our futures, we focus on the things we can do independently. However, we could all use helping hands. The Government of Canada compels us to consider our current social lives and what we think they will look like when we are older.
The checklist challenges us to respond “yes” to the following. “I maintain good relationships with my family members. I have family/friends I can rely on for support if needed. I have someone I can talk to when I need to do so. I have friends I enjoy spending time with, and I nurture the friendships I have. I have friends who are of different ages, some of whom are younger than I am.”
We have all long-used the idiom “safety first”. That goes double for seniors. Because so many older adults battle mobility issues, it’s vital that they consider their safety within the homes they intend to live in. As the Government of Canada reminds us, falls account for more than half of all injuries to Canadians 65 years of age and older. Approximately 20 to 30% of Canadian seniors experience one fall each year.
The checklist asks us to think about some of the things we do now to protect ourselves. Are the following statements true for you? “I feel safe in my home and my neighbourhood…I know falling is a risk, and I know what I can do to decrease this risk. I keep my home uncluttered by removing scatter rugs and other tripping hazards.”
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, a big part of our mandate is ensuring that our clients are able to safely age in place. To learn all about our mobility solutions, health care products and home modification services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!