Knowing then what we know now
What if we could have known or been able to select in our early twenties what would be working well for us much later in life? Perhaps we choose well even without knowing, but likely our lives have needed to make some accommodations, modifications, or adaptations along the way – especially physically.
When it comes to our home, consider how we embraced that walkup that was so interesting and architecturally appealing, the rolling terrain, the long sidewalk to the front door, the various levels on which our home was located, that spiral staircase, and other aspects of our home that were consistent with the time frame in which it was built and our very young, and mostly agile ability to cope with the marketplace provided.
None of us could have known a few decades in advance how our needs and mobility might change over the years – if they have. Many people are able to use the same home with little change or modifications throughout their lives, but others find they require changes and modifications.
None of us possess a crystal ball. There was (and still isn’t) any way to know what our needs are going to be in the future, so we selected the home we did at the time for a variety of reasons that appealed to us then – possibly location, architecture, the neighborhood, interior design, and likely the price. Most of us were not selecting at home on the basis of our feeling that it would suffice for years to come.
Just starting out in life with that first home that we purchased or rented, it maybe was just us as a single individual or a couple, possibly without any thoughts of adding to our family size. Then, for many of us, that changed along the way and we found additional individuals in our home – a home that possibly did not work as well for our growing family size as it did for just one or two of us.
Oh, to be young again
All of us are aging. We may not like it. but it’s a fact of life. Along with that, comes many aging-related adjustments, such as vision and hearing decline or changes in our balance and coordination. Our overall strength may be less than it used to be, and our outlook on life may have changed.
In our teens and twenties, we feel invincible (especially men). What our needs might be in our sixties or seventies can’t even be understood or grasped. SO we approach life as if we always are going to have the abilities, skills, and often the interests (sports, hobbies, and other activities) that we had at an earlier age.
That said, it’s very difficult for someone just starting out with a home to know how their lives might change and evolve over time. Sure, they can see their parents, colleagues, and older neighbors and friends, but it’s more difficult to make that connection and correlation to ourselves.
If the homes or apartments that we were looking at in our early twenties would still suffice for our needs today, we would not have needed to replace them. However, most of us moved on from that initial home and have lived in several more dwellings along the way. It is rare for someone to reside in the same home their entire lifetime, but it is done.
Life moves on
Whether we like it or not, life moves on, and it takes us along with it. It’s the way it works. Our needs, our perspectives, and in many cases our outward appearances change. Graying or thinning hair. balding, wrinkles, possibly a few more pounds or a redistribution of where they appear, and a few more noticeable physical signs indicate that we have made our way along life’s continuum.
We almost certainly have different needs and requirements than we had one, two, or three decades ago. Changes in our eyesight, hearing, balance, and strength may have affected how we get along in our homes and well we can use them. In short, we are not the same people we were years dealer, but our homes may have remained essentially the same.
Without making any modifications – minor or more significant – in our homes to accommodate our changing needs, we likely will find that our homes don’t provide the same level of comfort and convenience they once did. However, while homes are in need of continuing maintenance, it’s not them that has changed over the years as much as it is us.
This is what aging in place modifications, renovations, and solutions are all about – keeping pace with our changing needs in the home environment we have selected for our long-term occupancy. Our needs change over the years, and aging in place treatments are done in recognition of these changes.