Aging in Place Tips and Tools
Hello, my name is Beth and I am a member of the sandwich generation. I am at the back end of baby boomers. I am cheering on and helping our adult children, answering their new homeowner questions like, “what do you do when”…. (It is nice to be finally getting smarter in their eyes). I am also helping my parents navigate their sunset season. I sometimes feel like my Dad’s search engine. He knows there is all kinds of information out there but no clue how to access it.
The blessing in all this mess is I am keeping current on what is to come and staying grounded by remembering how we got here. I am grateful for this season of life.
Both generations have caused me to hone my critical thinking and problem solving skills. However, being a caregiver for my parents have required me to be thoughtful and to find efficiencies that I had to learn.
So, here are some of the things for aging in place I have learned. My parents would call them tips or hints and my kids would call them hacks.
Plumbing and Heating Tips for Aging in Place
Bidets are great for health and dignity. My Mom has had a stroke and has limited left side mobility. Even scrubbing her hands is difficult to do alone. Also, strokes and other aging related mobility restrictions can limit your reach which is why a bidet is smart choice.
Touchless Faucets are a blessing. When mobility is an issue even ADA handles are hard. Also they make touchless foam soap dispensers.
Touchless Toilets these are great for everyone. Wave your hand and it flushes. Have you ever pondered when, in the bathroom process you flush the toilet? Enough said!
Showers with seats, roll in showers with plenty of properly installed grab bars. Life is better when lived with dignity and freshly showered.
Add hand held showers to all bathing units. It makes it easier to clean and so much easier to reach the nether regions.
There are bath tubs with sides at 12” making stepping into the tub with grab bars much easier.
The bath tubs with the doors are nice in some applications as long as you remember you will be sitting while the tub fills and drains in your birthday suit. Brrrrr.
Wifi thermostats are great. When your loved one calls and says it is cold in the house you can check from your phone what is happening. Do they need a serviceman or just another sweater? You can decide.
Some other non-plumbing and HVAC items I have come across that work well are :
Alexa or any electronic assistant. I programed her to tell my parents 3 times a day what the date, and day of the week is. I also programmed her with reminders for their doctor’s appointments.
Front door cameras are great too. My parents think everyone is nice and wonderful with the best intentions. I want to make sure that is true.
Kitchen cabinet inserts. There are inserts that will pop up to put kitchen aid mixers on. My parents had a corner cabinet that required spelunking gear. We installed some inserts and it became a usable space.
Subscription services. Target, Kroger, Amazon etc. will all deliver paper towels, toilet paper, kitty litter etc. on whatever schedule you decide.
Food delivery apps. When the weather is awful, Panera dinner delivered is a real treat.
Meal Delivery Services. When my parents still wanted to cook, I scheduled Home Fresh to be delivered.
They really enjoyed the recipes and having everything they needed right there.
The choices we’ve made to keep my parents happy and safe at home have been a blessing to all of us. They are a small price to pay for peace of mind for our loved ones and now the next generation has a playbook to follow.