Modifying the Environment and How Tasks Are Accomplished
This second part of the process to improve their chances of healthy aging at home involves making age-related changes to their living space. To make it safer and to set up systems or a plan for outside help.
“Outside help” could mean a cleaning service. Or a home health aide. Or creating a schedule for who in the family will drive them to various appointments. Whatever activity of daily living they need help with, you need to account for it.
The hardest part of this is the possibility that your parents may put up some kind of fight. Because allowing someone else to help them with tasks they could previously do on their own means they have to give up some of their independence. Something no one wants.
Changing their own home will probably go over better in an emotional sense. Especially when they realize that:
- It can be done in a way that doesn’t feel clinical.
- It will allow them to continue aging at home for longer.
Essentially, you’ll make modifications to their living space with the specific goal of helping them age in place, of planning for their longevity.
However, if you approach the topic in the right way, you can sell the changes as quality of life improvements. Helping them complete the normal activities of daily life faster, easier, and more efficiently.
A certified aging in place specialist can help guide you in terms of what changes need to be made to the physical property. As well as what services you may need to line up as they age. That way, your family member can thrive in place for the long-term.