Everyone knows that, throughout the western world, we are having to deal with the consequences of a rapidly aging population.
As the ‘baby boomers’ born in the wake of WW2 reach retirement age, the media often report that health and social care services in many countries are approaching breaking point.
How to stay independent in old age
One positive effect of there being many more people around who are over the age of 65 is that there is now much more attention being given to coming up with ways in which the older community can retain their independence. It is no secret that governments would prefer people, where possible, to stay in their own homes rather than be confined to hospitals or care facilities and, in most cases, this is what the individuals in question want as well.
Below, you will find a few suggestions for ways in which your loved ones can carry on living on their own well into their later years:
Purchase a mobility scooter
In years gone past, anyone who started to lose their ability to walk around freely will have been consigned to a life of staying at home or in a care setting virtually all the time. Fortunately, the last few decades have seen technological innovations such as the mobility scooter and stairlift develop into reliable and great value products which are widely available to people around the world.
Buying a mobility scooter is a great option for those who have enjoyed a life full of activity but are now beginning to struggle with getting from place to place with ease. Safe, comfortable and affordable, these scooters can provide a new lease of life for people with even the most profound mobility difficulties.
There are several different kinds of mobility scooters that can be purchased depending on the needs of you or your loved one, and different rules and regulations which govern the use of each. The most important thing to be aware of in this respect is that scooters are limited to 4mph if driven on pavements and 8mph if driven on the road. Having said that, some scooters designed just for pavements have built-in speed limiters, meaning that there is no danger of breaking the legal limit.
Of course, many people may be concerned that their financial situation will not allow them to take advantage of the range of high-tech products that are now available to help maintain independence in old age. If this is the case for you, however, help is at hand: many reputable providers of accessibility equipment offer customers the chance to make great savings by buying reconditioned, second-hand products, including a high-quality mobility scooter.
Buy a personal alarm system
Even the most independently-minded old age people eventually must accept the fact that they are not as young and mobile as they used to be and that accidents can always happen around the home.
To ensure peace of mind when you are away from your elderly relative, it would be worth considering investing in a personal alarm system. There are many different types of alarm available but, whichever one you choose, you will find it is reassuring to know that your loved one can always call on professional help in the event of something going wrong.
Modern technology has allowed for some truly sophisticated and intelligent alarm devices to be developed in recent years, with some of the most popular being worn around the neck like a lanyard by the person who may need help. If the person in question then suffers a fall or otherwise gets into distress, they simply press a button on the alarm; this, in turn, alerts a dedicated call center operative who will then attempt to get in touch or, if needed, alert the relevant authorities or emergency services.
The last few years have also seen some even more sophisticated systems – known as ‘telecare’ – being installed in many homes. These ingenious systems work via special sensors that are fitted in various points around the house and will automatically respond to incidents as and when they take place. Some of the most advanced, ‘smart’ telecare systems can even perform actions such as prompting users to take medication when they need to and remotely turning off the electricity and gas supplies as a safety precaution.
Invest in a stairlift
Along with the mobility scooter, one of the most popular kinds of mobility aid currently used by millions of people around the world is the stairlift. Being forced to move out of our home is not a prospect any of us would look forward to, and stairlifts have helped countless members of the elderly community retain their independence well into old age.
As with most such products, there are various types of stairlift available depending on the individual needs of the user and the home in which they live. For example, bespoke curved stairlifts can be installed (usually at an extra cost) if the customer has a spiral staircase. There are even many outdoor stairlifts available for people who need to access their house via stairs or who have a raised garden.
Stay independent for longer!
As you can see, there are plenty of ways in which you can ensure your loved one is able to keep their independence well into old age – and the products mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg. If you or a relative has started to struggle with their mobility and is becoming concerned about having to move out of their home, you will find that there is lots of help available to prevent this from happening.
So, if you have found any of the steps we have discussed useful, why not take a few minutes to conduct some of your own research into what else is out there to assist you in your drive towards achieving a rewarding and fully independent later life? You may be surprised by how straightforward and affordable it can be to keep doing the things you love (and stay in the home you love) for years to come.