Aging in place is natural
We age in place because we are getting older. We don’t really have much of a choice. We all have to live someplace, and unless we are especially transient, we are aging in place in our present home. We may have moved in only recently, but we still are aging in place there. As such, it is our home of choice and the place where we are getting continuously older or aging.
We may have a long-term home that has served us well for years. We still are aging in place. The length of our time in residence in our home is not a factor, just that we are aging in place there.
Wherever we are living, and whether we rent, own it, or live with family in their home, we are aging in place there. That is the essence of aging in place – remaining in one’s home or place of residence long-term effectively and safely.
No preparation is required
Unlike many of the things we do in life, aging in place requires no preparation or study in advance. Some people are going to be more effective than others in how they select and utilize their dwelling space, the act of aging in place requires no particular preparation.
Unlike youth sports where we aspire to be a baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer, tennis, gymnastics, or other type of accomplished athlete in our later teenage and early adult years – possibly even becoming a professional – aging in place does not require any study, practice, coaching, or mentoring. We figure it out along the way.
Taking life as it comes
While people are going to have differing needs as they get older – some have been dealing with issues affecting their general mobility, sensory needs, and quality of life for as far back as they can remember – people generally are able to meet life head-on.
No classes that we took in school or any other forums that we may have seen or participated in over the years have specifically prepared us to age in place other than to acquaint us with some of the issues that we might want to be aware of or consider. That said, people are different. Their experiences and the way they deal with those day-to-day occurrences vary as well. There is no standard protocol for aging in place well or effectively other than to be in the game.
Aging in place is a little like participating in a sporting contest or driving on the highway. We can watch films of how to do it, we can read articles on ways to prepare, and we can ready ourselves mentally and physically for what we expect, but until we are in the midst of the action, we can’t fully know what we will need to do. We take things as they come and respond to them the best way that we can, using our preparation, skills, abilities, and instincts.
Everything that we can think of gets older by the minute. Certainly, we do, but so does our family, home, car, clothing, furniture – not to mention, wine, art, the planet, relationships, and anything else that might come to mind.
We are no different than anything else in our consciousness. The advance of time and the progression of the clock do not spare any of us. It’s nothing to fret. We can’t do anything about it. It’s going to happen whether we want it to or not, and whether we are ready for it to happen or not.
The best way that we – and the people we are advising and working with – can be prepared for aging issues in our homes and our daily lives is to meet them head-on and take them as they come. Some are going to be a little more surprising to us or unexpected than others – certain aches and pains, limitations in movement, or balance or visual challenges, for instance. Nevertheless, we are troopers. We can get through this and deal with it – on our own or with the help of family or professionals willing to get involved with us.
As aging in place professionals, we experience aging in place from two perspectives – as it happens to us and our families and as we are able to interact with and be of service to the community and our clients.
Since aging is natural, and where we are living as we age has been decided by us, let’s embrace the aging process and make the most of it – for ourselves and those we serve. We certainly can’t fight it so we must be prepared to deal with it.