Is your mom, dad or a close friend or relative living alone in a house that no longer fits his or her needs? The need for a housing change is often reflected in the physical changes that are part of the normal aging process.
For example, has carrying laundry up and down the basement stairs become a difficult task? Has it become a challenge to climb a stepladder to change a lightbulb, change the batteries in smoke detectors or perform routine home maintenance? As time passes, these tasks become more difficult and thus increase the odds of a fall-related injury.
While it can be difficult to say goodbye to the homestead, the transition may be easier if it is approached as a new and exciting chapter in an ever-changing life. When discussing a housing change with a senior friend or relative, the key is to point out how they can live much more comfortably in a setting that’s free of the demands that come with owning a house.
In addition to offering a safer environment, senior housing generally includes a floor plan focused on the necessities — kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. In a house, there are often three or more rooms that the senior no longer uses or needs.
If you find yourself or a loved one in this situation, you may want to contact a geriatric care manager to help sort through the many choices available to seniors and provide professional support. You can also contact your neighborhood senior center to see if they offer age-related classes and seminars on the housing topic.
A happier and healthier lifestyle for an older adult might begin with a simple conversation!