“May Is Doubly Special For Aging In Place”

May is a pretty month as blossoms and leaves spring forth, a transitional month among the seasons, and a special month for us to focus on aging in place solutions for people.

A special month for two reasons

Often, the calendar observes a special month that pertains to the focus we have as Certified Aging In Place Specialists (CAPS). April, which we just finished, was such a month, earmarked as “Occupational Therapy Month.” In the fall, October is “Physical Therapy Month.”

May has many observances and themes, but at least 2 of them are remarkable for aging in place specialists. May is “National Remodeling Month” and also “Older Americans Month.” Both involve our work and focus as CAPS professionals.

Obviously, the population is getting older. As such, there are unlimited opportunities for us to evaluate and renovate homes and residential situations to make them safer and more functional for people as they continue to live where they are.

Recognizing remodeling

The month of May recognizes the importance of remodeling – especially as a tool for successful aging in place solutions. As such, we evaluate someone’s current living environment and compare that with their mobility and sensory needs. Renovation or remodeling often is recommended as an upgrade, modification, or solution to help people live in their current homes long-term.

Remodeling can be a simple procedure – as easy as painting or simple repairs. It can be more complex such as taking out and rebuilding a bathroom. It can involve modifying a bedroom, making arrangements for additional family members to move into the home, providing for full-time caregivers, creating space for hobbies, making the entrance more accessible by reducing or eliminating steps, adding lighting for safety, making the flooring easier to use, and many other projects of varying scopes and budgets.

Remodeling is a year-round activity, but May gives us a special focus with “National Remodeling Month.”

Aging is a fact of life

Senescence is the process of aging. All living things get older and exhibit aging characteristics over time. We are no different.

As we age, from the time we are toddlers with our entire life ahead of us, with begin adapting to our changing environment and the demands placed upon us by various circumstances we face.

At some point, whatever that age happens to be, we find a living space that seems to check all of the boxes for us – location, space requirements, layout, neighborhood, general comfort, and general peace of mind. So, we continue living there.

Some of us know right away that this will be our long-term home – our forever residence. Others will discover this later. For some, it took being in our homes on basically a lockdown situation during the pandemic to discover that we like our homes and that they served us well.

Here’s to remodeling and aging

This month, May, gives a nod to the concept of remodeling to be able to make whatever changes and tweaks to our homes that we find beneficial to remain in them successfully. The focus on older Americans is a natural part of aging in place and the renovations that we might want to make for ourselves and others.

Let’s celebrate both!

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