“Aging In Place & The Time Change”

The annual ritual of changing the time back an hour for four months has just occurred for most of us, but we can consider it to be an intermission in an otherwise very active outdoor-focused daily format.

It’s that “time” again

Nearly everyone will have set their clocks back an hour to “standard” time even though there is strong evidence and an overwhelming sentiment around the country for keeping the summer time year-round (“daylight savings”) and not changing it. If any of us wonder why we are an hour early for an appointment, it could be that our clock (on the wall, in the car, or in another place we look for the time) did not change.

Regardless, this annual ritual signals more than just the fall time of the year.

Yes, it physically changes our schedule by inserting an extra hour (not really – more of an adjustment), but this is not a very productive hour as it’s going to be dark by late afternoon, and the extra daylight in the morning is going to be lost for many of us as well.

Taking advantage of the seasonal nudge

Since we obviously have been affected by forces beyond our control with the time adjustment, we can use this season to focus on our professional education. Less outdoor activities at the end of the day mean that our focus can turn to daytime pursuits.

We are entering a less hectic time of year, generally speaking, although there are deadlines to meet, budgets to prepare for next year, all of those ‘to-do” list items that have gotten pushed off, and holidays to get ready to celebrate.

Still, this is the natural time of the year for planning.

As we review what we have accomplished to date this year, we may be happy with what we have achieved, or we may find that there were some activities (business or personal time) that we planned to complete that got pushed off. Now is the time to re-energize some of those plans or to prepare for new opportunities.

New classes that we wanted to take but didn’t get them scheduled, people we wanted to call or visit but never got it done, a new skill or hobby we wanted to undertake but didn’t, and there’s likely more that we can recall – we have the perfect season over the next few months to begin re-energizing those plans.

Aging in place fieldwork

As the holidays are approaching, we are going to be having friends and relatives visiting us as well as going to their homes. In addition to the connections or reconnections we make (it may have been some time since we last met), we can observe how people are aging – in their space and in ours when they visit with us.

This is a living laboratory.

Visitability, mobility, sensory changes, and other aspects of getting older or dealing with pesky ailments will enable us to get a first-hand view of how people are living. As a result, we can factor in changes we would like to make for them, for ourselves, and for those we will work with in the coming months.

This is a golden opportunity for us to evaluate how well we, our guests, and our families are using their living spaces so that we can suggest or implement beneficial changes.

Share with your friend and colleagues!