As of July 2017, 12% of the Lubbock county population was over the age of 65 years. This comes out to be almost 36,627 people. A large number of these older people reside in community living settings such as residential homes, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. However, many older people continue to live in their own homes, sometimes facing several challenges.
Challenges of Living at Home
The challenges older people face when living at home could be several. Difficulty in carrying out day to day activities like cleaning the house, transport issues when not driving, difficulty being able to obtain or prepare meals, trouble navigating stairs, struggle getting into tubs to take showers and requiring help getting dressed are some of their daily predicaments. Faced with these troubles, many finally relent against their wishes and give up their homes to go live in a community living place. Sometimes it is a choice made to avoid loneliness and boredom, when their friends and family are living far or pass away.
Transitioning to Community Living
This transition to a community living can be a welcome change for some, where they now enjoy their housekeeping, cooking, and transport needs being taken care of. However, some residents miss the spaciousness of their homes, their neighbours and friends, and the independence and privacy they had in their independent houses. Depression after such a move is a common problem that continues to ail some for years. Living in a community setting is like living in a world of its own. Not only does the outside world start to slowly forget them, but they too get more and more drawn into their new world and new friends, that sooner or later they forget their old lives.
If you are getting older, and some of the above seems inevitable, then there are some things you could do to continue living in your home as long as possible.
- Enlist the help of your children and grandchildren in assisting you with your needs at home.
- Seek help from home health agencies in the area, who can send help to your house on an hourly basis for assisting with housekeeping needs, showers, dressing etc
- Exercise daily to keep yourself functional and fit for longer.
- Participate regularly in social activities such as church, senior centres, hobby groups.
- Volunteer or work part-time to increase socialization, and keep mentally active.
- Use services such as Meals on Wheels if unable to prepare your own meals.
- Modify your home to avoid stairs, have a walk-in-shower, grab bars, and raised toilet seats.
If leaving your home does become necessary, remember that the transition may be hard, but with time, patience, and preparation you will soon be happy and contented in your new world.