–A special submission by Kent Elliot–
Aging in place is a goal for many older adults since it’s a chance to savor memories and keep making new ones in familiar surroundings. However, without appropriate accommodations, it can be challenging to stay in your home and remain independent. Read on for practical and affordable solutions to help you enjoy the comforts of home as you grow older.
Adding electronic and digital tools to your home can feel like foreign ground for many older adults. Forbes points out that seniors are embracing technology, but it’s important to mesh your skills with the right devices to avoid frustration. Thankfully, there are ample senior-friendly options, and some of them might surprise you with how simple they are to operate.
For instance, you can use a phone, tablet, or laptop to operate smart devices that ease your lifestyle. Security systems that keep you safe, smart speakers that keep you comfortable, and sensors that learn your routines — thus reducing energy use — are all key bonuses for seniors. (Speaking of energy use, low-income seniors are often eligible for energy assistance, so don’t hesitate to explore available programs!)
What makes one device better than the next? When making your selections, keep in mind aspects like size and weight, since larger screens with a good definition can make computer or phone use easier for older eyes, and bulky options can become unwieldy. For things like tablets and e-readers, consider a touchscreen display to make navigation easier, because it’s intuitive, quick, and accessible.
Consider how you plan to use a device. If you only intend to send some emails and browse social media, you don’t need a gadget with a lot of memory. For things like playing games, sharing photos, and streaming movies, you need more.
You might be thinking this all sounds pretty expensive, but a little research can save a bundle. For instance, you can find online deals for electronics like laptops and tablets. Just do some comparing to make sure you find the bells and whistles you want in your price range, and soon you’ll be surfing the web like a pro.
Help Around the House
While “home sweet home” might be a comfort, sometimes the effort it takes to keep up with it can be a burden. Climbing ladders when you’re unsteady, wrestling a vacuum cleaner, and scrubbing floors might be jobs better left to someone else. If you’re at a point where you could use a helping hand now and then, like handyman help or housekeeping, there are services you can hire to lighten your load. Nationwide companies like You’ve Got Maids even often offer a senior citizen discount, so don’t hesitate to ask about that.
Get Out and Go
While a few gadgets and reduced workload are opportunities to keep you more comfortable at home, another hindrance to seniors can be the ability to run errands and socialize. Aching backs, waning vision, medications, and any number of other concerns can prevent you from getting behind the wheel or out in the community and with friends.
Rather than holing up at home, look for affordable transportation options to ensure you get out and about. Check with your local community for shuttles and taxi services; public transportation options like buses often provide free or low-cost services to seniors.
Another option is to use your smartphone or tablet to arrange for ridesharing. This can feel awkward the first time or two, but Lifewire explains that hiring these services is actually pretty easy. You just contact them through their website, phone number, or app, and tell them when and where to pick you up. Check with the bigger providers for low-cost senior services, offers, and special days — for instance, Lyft routinely offers special promotions and discounts and has a credit program for those who use their service regularly.
Consider asking your kids to check out gadgets and services. They may have been worrying about you and will be glad to see that you’re taking steps to stay safe in your home.
Aging in place can seem complicated, but there are practical methods for simplifying your choices. Look for appropriate gadgetry, hire a helping hand with your home, and find transportation to ensure you get out of the house. There are affordable options to keep you safe and comfortable throughout your golden years.
If you or a loved one needs to understand the legal nuances of staying in your home as you age, contact us to schedule a consultation today.