Aging in the Home Without Fear

Aging in the Home Without Fear

Age-related changes in mobility often arise from a number of complex reasons. While many seniors experience a reduction in muscle mass and bone density, others will encounter additional problems too like reduced eyesight or hearing, which can make normal, everyday life at home more challenging.

For seniors who worry about independent living and aging in the home over time, the use of assisted living devices could have a significant positive impact. From those that promote safer movements between floors to those that address sensory problems, mobility assistance devices can change life for the better.

Overcoming injuries that make safe movements challenging

After the age of 30, most people lose 5 percent of their muscle mass with each decade. Because of this, when you reach your senior years, your fall risk increases.

A lower muscle mass means your bones and joints are less stable. Additionally, you may find it difficult to navigate areas such as tight spaces and stairs. Finally, reaching overhead into cupboards or onto shelves becomes more difficult.

One of the most common injuries among seniors is a Neck of Femur fracture, which can alter your life significantly. Whether you experience an NOF, or an injury elsewhere, you can use certain tools to make overcoming your injury simpler:

  • Hand grabbers will allow you to reach high items
  • Walking aids, including sticks, chairs, and frames, allow you to address gait problems
  • Fall alarms will provide you with a sense of confidence, especially if you worry about encountering further injuries

Working around reductions in eyesight and hearing

From the age of 50 on, your risk of developing eyesight problems increases. For example, you may encounter age-related macular degeneration, which causes you to lose your central vision. Such risks increase further if you have a condition such as hypertension or diabetes.

In terms of hearing, both your ability to hear what’s happening around you and your balance may suffer. Most people experience age-related hearing loss as they grow older, and some will acquire conditions such as Meniere’s Disease that make them periodically feel unsteady on their feet.

If a reduction in your eyesight, hearing, or balance are causing concern, you might want to consider:

  • Installing an amplifier on your phone so that hearing the person at the other end is easier
  • Add an amplifier to your home so you can hear the TV and knocks on the door
  • Install a light that flashes when someone rings the doorbell
  • Add pull-down shelving to your kitchen to avoid making the movements that could trigger your balance problems

Making sure it’s easier to stand, no matter where you are

Whether you’re trying to rise from your chair, get out of the bath safely, or get up from the toilet, struggling with standing will naturally make you feel anxious. One of the simplest ways to address this issue is to install grab rails in problematic areas. However, there are other high-tech solutions too.

If you enjoy sitting in the bath and you’re not ready to switch to a shower alone just yet, you can install facilities that feature seats. Unlike normal baths, they don’t require you to stand from a lying down position. If you suffer from a condition such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or reduced joint mobility following an operation, such installations allow you to relax in a bath-like setting, while rising from a sitting position.

You may find that your ability to stand easily changes with time, or that your circumstances are unique and difficult to tackle. As such, you should consider chatting with an occupational therapist or physiotherapist for further advice.

Navigating stairs without pain

Finally, one of the largest concerns you might have about aging in your home without fear is navigating your stairs. Whether your doctor is telling you your falls risk is increasing, or you have personal experience with post-falls injuries, the prospect of walking up and down the stairs is scary.

Similarly, experiencing joint pain due to various conditions may make you feel less like using your stairs. Depending on the degree of your condition, this could lead to you isolating yourself in particular areas for long periods.

If you want to experience the benefits of upstairs and downstairs living, consider adding a stairlift to your property. While this may seem like an expensive investment from the outset, it’s often cheaper than moving to a single-floor house or residential facility. Additionally, you’ll have the benefit of remaining in an environment you’re familiar with. Doing this is particularly important if you have family nearby, or if there are memories you associate with your home.

Adapting your house so that it’s easier for you to live in doesn’t have to be something you do alone. Using the advice of an occupational or physiotherapist, you can turn towards devices that make life simpler. Always remember, as your needs change, you can adapt the environment you live in to make achieving independence possible.