By Rachel Morris, OTR/L, Director of Therapy
According to a recent survey by AARP, 77% of Americans aged 50 and over wish to “age in place,” remaining in their current residence or community as they grow older. By planning and proactively seeking services and support, many adults can achieve this goal, aging in their home. And Enablr Therapy can help! Our talented and compassionate physical, occupational, and speech therapists can promote safety and independence through personalized assessment and therapies.
In order to safely age in place, seniors need to address a variety of issues including removing barriers created by the home layout, assessing support service needs, managing health concerns, staying connected to others, and remaining as active as possible. Below are five key considerations for aging in place.
Check Home Safety and Accessibility
Home safety assessments can remove barriers that limit daily activities and hazards that can cause injury. For instance, checking for common trip hazards like loose throw rugs, electrical cords, and poor lighting can prevent falls. Consideration should also be given to adaptive equipment like grab bars that may increase accessibility, independence and safety. Enablr’s knowledgeable and skilled occupational and physical therapists can complete a home safety check and make individualized recommendations to increase safety and function.
Use Resources and Supports as Needed
Maintaining a home and managing daily needs requires a lot of time and effort. As an adult ages, a variety of services and supports can be used to maintain independence and safety. For instance, lawn care, meal preparation, cleaning, transportation, and home health services can be arranged. Many local agencies have services specifically for seniors.
Manage Your Health
Following up with a primary care doctor and other healthcare professionals is essential for maintaining overall health and wellness, especially with aging. In addition to physical check-ups, medications and nutritional supports should be reviewed regularly. Routine eye, ear, and dental examinations also promote overall health and safety.
Enablr’s therapists can be a vital part of a healthcare team. We treat a wide range of issues and disabilities due to injury, illness, trauma or aging. Whether you or a loved one is recovering from a knee or back injury, prolonged illness due to cancer or a stroke, or just desire to be in the best possible health while aging, Enablr Therapy has it covered!
Having relationships and connections to others reduces isolation and depression, and improves mental functioning. Staying in touch with family and friends in person and on social media, volunteering within the community, and participating in a hobby with others are ways to create connections and a sense of belonging and purpose.
Activity and movement promotes physical, cognitive, and mental health. It is so important to keep moving! Involvement in daily activities leads to more independence and opportunities to interact with family and friends in the community.
Enablr’s physical therapists can address mobility concerns and customize fitness programs to each individual’s abilities and needs. Enablr’s occupational therapists can address issues that are limiting independence and safety with daily activities like dressing, bathing, and cooking. Therapy can help to regain skills that are declining and prevent injury. Enablr Therapy provides in-person and live-video therapy sessions for clients throughout the state of Tennessee and select other states.
Binette, J. & Vasold, K. (2019, July). 2018 Home and Community Preferences: A National Survey of Adults Ages 18-Plus. AARP. Retrieved March 01, 2021, from https://www.aarp.org/research/topics/community/info-2018/2018-home-community-preference.html