For a lot of folks, the barriers to aging in place keep them from staying healthy and happy at home later in life. And, with the idea of aging in place gaining in popularity, it seemed like a good idea to talk about some of the things that people encounter that can hamper their ability to age in place.
The truth is, we’ve seen it here in the communities in and around Cincinnati: People not getting the support, assistance or even having the basics they need in their home to keep them safe when they’re older.
If you know about the common barriers to aging in place, you’re more likely to have the opportunity to take action that can help prevent the negative effects they can have on your life.
Barriers to aging in place
People don’t prepare
One of the big factors in a less than satisfactory aging in place experience is not being prepared. In fact, it is one of the largest barriers to aging in place.
Industry expert Louis Tennenbaum says that most people don’t prepare, because they don’t know they should or what they should do. Also, that when they do prepare, they’re not really preparing well enough.
Another of the larger barriers to aging in place is the design of homes. Specifically, there just aren’t enough homes that are designed to make life easier, keep us healthier or support us when we need it. This is a barrier we help people overcome with every aging in place remodeling project we complete.
We help people have the homes they need, both for now and later in life. We use accessible remodeling to create homes that are easier to live in, no matter what a person’s age or abilities.
In communities, transportation is a serious concern for older folks. This is mainly due to people not being able to drive or choosing not to. Unfortunately, most cities and towns don’t have transportation systems that are easily used by older adults.
Cincinnati has public transportation, that’s true. But, outlying areas do not. The truth is that, no matter where you live, the transportation that is available typically isn’t easy for older adults to get to it, board, depart and get home safely.
As we grow older, our abilities change. Health conditions creep in and our needs increase. With this comes a need for easier access to the things we require for daily life.
It is true that most cities have regulations that enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Meaning, policies that help ensure a minimum level of accessibility is built into new construction. However, it is limited.
This typically means you have fewer public areas, businesses, sidewalks, buildings, etc. that are easy for older adults to get in and out of.
The good news
All of this sounds really negative. However, if you can plan and prepare for some of these things, you can reduce the chances that they will keep you from living life on your own terms.
Part of what we do is teaching people about the idea o aging in place and how their homes can be recreated to meet their needs now and in the future.