Your lake home is a special place. It’s where you relax, recharge and socialize. It might hold special memories of your kids and grandchildren growing up. Maybe your lake home is your permanent home. Either way, you probably want to enjoy your lake home as long as you can.
Staying in one’s home is a strong desire for many people. It may be the most economically feasible option. For some, it allows them to maintain social connections to friends and family. You’re always more comfortable at home.
What is Aging in Place?
Aging in place is a phrase that means living where you want in your senior age without losing your quality of life. There may seem like many challenges, but there are more solutions than you think. Some of the best resources for research and planning are available on the internet. Some quick research brings up websites like AARP, the National Council on Aging, Programs of All-Inclusive Care for Elderly, Eldercare Locator, the National Institute on Aging, Meals on Wheels, the Guide to Long Term Care for Veterans, the Healthfinder Guide, and many more.
Everyone ages differently and everyone’s needs are unique. Some possible changes we should consider as we age include diminished eyesight, reduced strength, decreased mobility, diminished hearing, and lower endurance. Your comfort is important, the information below is relevant no matter where your home is located.
A big concern for many people is staying mobile. As you age, a cane, walker, scooter or wheelchair may be the answer to your mobility issues. This can mean different things depending on your circumstances. For someone with a single level home on grade, they may want to make sure doors are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair or walker. Some single-level homes may require a ramp to allow access to the front door currently accessed by one or more steps. Multi-level homes may require a stairlift or a vertical elevator to help you move from level to level. Maybe the laundry should be moved to a more central location for easy access. If your home is on a hill, an inclined elevator can help you access your lakeshore or street level.
Make Small Changes
Home modifications make aging in place easier. Some modifications listed above seem pretty substantial. Many smaller changes provide strong benefits. Changing door and faucet knobs to levers can greatly improve comfort and access to those with arthritis or hand weakness. Is someone in your house using a wheelchair? Widening doorways, changing to a roll-in shower and changing counter heights can make their life easier and more convenient. Adding non-slip flooring can help a resident with stability issues.
There are lots of technologies that can benefit everyone. An alarm system can provide added wellbeing for residents. Smartphones and home assistants can make some tasks easier: from controlling lights and heating/cooling systems, to checking the weather, their benefits are endless. Also, a medical alert system provides peace-of-mind for a resident and their family. Tracking devices can keep keys and other important items from getting lost. Even using your smartphone to video chat with family that could be thousands of miles away is a great way to use technology to your advantage.
As you age you also want to maintain your lifestyle. Some of this might come from retirement planning or it might come from having a long-term care plan to make sure you will be taken care of if you can’t stay in your home. You might want to have a cleaning service take care of your weekly cleaning or sign up for meals on wheels to make sure you get a healthy meal without the challenge of cooking.
No matter if your home is a lake cottage, condo, urban oasis or farmhouse, being comfortable and safe as we age is important. Aging in place is a choice. Hopefully, the tips above give you some insight on how you can age gracefully within your own home and enjoy every minute.