aging in place

Aging in place

Adapting your home to different needs over the years to live independently and safely in your home even old age

Throughout the world, society is seeing a gradual increase in the percentage of older people. The "baby boomer" generation is aging and the effect of this trend can be seen with the percentage of people over-65 years of age living in the United States; in 1900 it was approximately 3.9%, today we are at 16% of the total population.It is interesting to add that in reality the part of the population that grows faster is the over-85 and over-100.

Evidently this, in addition to the genes, is the result of an overall improvement in quality of life and care that have helped to extend the duration of life. Of course, nutrition, physical and mental activity are just as important, but we must not forget that the place where we live influences longevity and the quality of aging. The possibility of living in your own home, perhaps adapted to changing needs over the years, can help to maintain a good quality of life until the last days.

This approach would also have an immediate impact on the country's health care spending; being able to assist older people at home in collaboration with families or other more active older people who voluntarily offer help to the community could prove to be a practical and sustainable solution.

What does it mean to adapt your home to changing needs and age, with particular attention to the bathroom environment? The bathroom is where the risk of accidents is about 8% and this is our area of expertise having developed bathroom safety products for over 45 years. What changes might be necessary for seniors to stay in their own home? We can identify three principles from which to start: the removal of architectural barriers, the use in safety and the guarantee of autonomy.

Most important, being able to move easily and safely in every area of the bathroom and doing so in a way comfortable enough not to be tempted to perform actions that may be dangerous. A bathroom environment where there are steps, such as the one to access the shower, or a too narrow space that restrict movement or do not allow access to safety products should be modified. If you live alone, falling into the shower or bathroom can be a physically and financially devastating experience.

walk-in bathtub

The simplest and cheapest intervention in any part of the house, and particularly in the bathroom, is the installation of a grab bar. This safety product allows anyone – young or older – to have a support close at hand. More than one can be installed and with different shapes and features depending on the area; the handles to be placed near the washbasin are different from those for the toilet or shower.

For those who prefer to use the shower, the installation of a linear drain and shower tray without a border on the perimeter makes it easy to access for everyone if they are walking or using a mobility assistance devise for safety and autonomy.

If you do not want to give up the pleasure of a bath, you can consider the installation of walk-in bathtubs which have a door that once closed ensures the watertight seal. This type of products gives the advantage of being able to sit and relax, but also to be able to enter and exit much more easily. Many older people use this type of bathtubs simply because they allow the possibility of taking a relaxing bath that can help relieve pain.

Undoubtedly allowing all Americans to enjoy good health, but above all to be able to living independently as they age can be a challenge but access to Ponte Giulio products can assist by providing safety in the bathroom.