Tips to help you stay in your home
We all want to stay in the comfort of our own home, surrounded by our creature comforts, fond memories and local neighbourhood but as we grow older and our abilities change it can be harder to maintain the lifestyle we are used to.
Adapting the home, seeking help from community support groups, and arranging for necessary care at home are all steps you can take towards living in your own home happily and safely for as long as possible.
Another common complaint as you get older is difficulty with balance, which is often a normal part of ageing but can create anxiety. Devices to help with balance such as walking frames, canes, or grab rails can provide a bit of extra support and reassurance for those less steady on their feet.
Equipment for the Home
Making some adaptations to the home and adding new tools to aid movement around the house as your muscles grow weaker can make a big difference to staying where you are.
Ramps are a simple option to make life easier in the home, and not just if you are using a wheelchair or other walking aid. Walking up a gentle incline is easier than climbing up a couple of steps, both inside and outside the house.
Adding handrails to corridors, stairs and bathrooms can give you the balance and extra support needed to get around the house when your movement starts to become more difficult.
Other more expensive options include hoists to help get into and out of chairs, beds or the bath. These can be fixed to the ceiling or on wheels in order to move around the home.
A stair lift can give you more freedom to move around the home, allowing you to move between upstairs and downstairs spaces to perform everyday tasks and retain a normal lifestyle.
Local Community Groups
If you are feeling lonely or isolated or need help with meals, there are lots of local charities and community groups that can help. Organisations such as Age UK, for example, arrange regular meetups for the over 75s, allowing you to make new friends, spend time in the company of others and reduce the risk of loneliness, isolation, and depression.
An organised tidy home can help to keep you living safely and comfortably for longer. Simple things like finding a regular place to keep medications that are within easy reach, placing an emergency contact list next to the telephone, and making use of storage to declutter the floor and reduce the risk of trips as just a few examples. Schedule in set visits with friends and family so that you have company and people there to help if there is anything that you need them to do.
Whilst new technology can be overwhelming for some there have been some huge advances in technology recently, many of which can be used to help older people remain independent for longer. Smart Home Technology such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home allows you to control many aspects of your house such as lighting, heating, changing the television channel and making phone calls just by voice activation.
Care at Home Services
If you feel that things are taking a little too much effort around the home, you can arrange for a carer to come and visit you daily or weekly to help. From helping prepare meals, keeping the house tidy and giving medication, your carer will be on hand to give the extra support you need to carry on living in your own home. The level of care can be adapted based on changing needs, with as little or as much help as you want.
Taking some small and big steps around the house and adapting your lifestyle slightly will help you to maintain the life you want to live, from the comfort of your own home. Even just asking friends and family to help out with difficult chores like gardening and housework will make them feel useful and give you the support you need to stay in your own home. If you feel you may need a little more help or would prefer a professional to do it, then there are lots of companies around that can provide support.