There’s No Denying the Decline of Aging
We can view aging in many ways such as referring to post-retirement as living in the “golden years.” Perhaps, things can remain good as gold as long as physical and mental health are maintained. Aging in place during these golden years is not so easy due to decline in functioning that naturally comes about by getting older. Aging in place really comes down to whether one can still function living at home without too much decline setting in and impacting activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living. The following list is provided regarding areas of function that need to be assessed in determining whether one can live independently or with the support of various human and environmental resources made available:
Activities of daily living: bathing, eating, dressing, continence/toileting, ambulation and transfers (process of moving between positions), and cognitive impairments.
Instrumental activities of daily living: ability to handle finances, shopping, food preparation, housekeeping, laundry, responsibility for own medications, mode of transportation (driving or public transportation), and ability to use a telephone. (Source: Lawton, M.P., and Brody, E.M. “Assessment of older people: Self-maintaining and instrumental activities of daily living.” Gerontologist 9:179-186, 1969)
A broad range of skill sets are required in order for a person to age in place. Many older adults can do just that. For others, who are not able to function independently, there are options such as home care, assisted living and personal care facilities. Thank goodness there are options available to individuals and families!
Gary Kozick, LCSW