Know the Health Risks of Aging in Place—and the Alternatives
Aging in place is when seniors live in their own homes as long as possible.
Many seniors want to age in place, and in fact, an AARP survey has found that up to 80 percent of seniors want to age at home instead of in a long term care.
It does sound nice, as long as seniors are aware of what exactly aging in place entails. Here are some of the pitfalls of living alone seniors should know:
Chronic health conditions
As we get older, we get sicker. The National Council on Aging says 92 percent of American seniors are living with at least one chronic disease—and 77 percent have more than one. Living alone while dealing with a disease like heart disease, diabetes, or early dementia is difficult, especially as the disease progresses.
Many seniors who age in place stay at home most of the time, watching TV. Even if they have a home health aide, the aide is there to help them stay safe, not busy. Living alone with no brain stimulation is a real danger to your cognitive health. Studies show seniors who live in isolation experience dementia-like symptoms—or are even at higher risk of dementia.
Isolation can lead to another danger: depressed mental state. Other studies have shown that social activity is crucial to maintaining feelings of personal happiness and well being. Seniors who don’t get out too much are in danger of depression, anxiety, and other mental illness.
Living alone can leave seniors at higher risk of physical injury—and no way to call for help when they need it. If you are considering an aging in place arrangement, do your research about the best technology available to not only let you call for help after a fall or other injury, but to help you avoid them in the first place.
Seniors who are responsible for their own meals may decide to just skip their meals out of convenience or inability. Malnutrition is a serious issue for elderly people, and is often misdiagnosed as other health issues. It can lead to weakened immune system and muscles, and wreak havoc on the body.
As the vast majority of seniors have at least one chronic illness, a similar number of seniors are on at least one medication. A huge percentage of them take more than one drug every day. For seniors with normal age-related memory lapses, it’s difficult to keep track of their daily regimen. For seniors with early dementia, it could be deadly.
The Best Alternative to Aging in Place
How does a safe aging in place arrangement sound? What if you could move into an independent or semi-independent home when you’re still young and vibrant… and stay there well into old age?
At Bridgeway Senior Living, that can be your reality. As a continuum of care facility, we offer fully independent living apartments, semi-independent living arrangements, assisted living, and long-term care. You can stay in your comfortable surroundings, with the friends you know and love, for many years to come.