As we get older, many people—friends, family, and others—consider that we are now or will quickly become infirmed and be incapable of looking after ourselves and remaining in our home. This becomes even truer if we have lost our partner and are now alone.
I am not saying these people are mean spirited. They have love and concern for our well-being and us, but they see things from their perspective, not ours. They don’t live in our bodies, and they don’t have our thoughts or our desires. They do, however, think they know what our limitations are. Now in some circumstances, they may well know more than we do or more than we are willing to admit, but if that is the case, then this post may not be for you. If your judgment is impaired in any way, then I would suggest you read this in consultation with someone who can explain what needs to be explained about the suggestions and how they fit or do not fit your circumstances. You need to be the judge. If nothing else, I hope you will be empowered enough by what you read to make an informed decision.
So what exactly does “staying home” mean to me?
When I think of really staying home, I think of living exactly where I am now. I think of taking care of myself the way I do now. I think of sleeping in my own bed, taking a shower when I want, eating when and what I want. I also think of being aware of what I need to do in the areas of hygiene, eating, and safety. These days, I also think of what I need to do to keep my life the way it is now and what changes I need to make to ensure I can stay here for a long time. I don’t think I am alone in having the wish also to die in my home. I often joke with my children, who sometimes don’t see the humor in it, that my wish is to go to bed one night and wake up dead. Their perception is a little different, and they think I am wishing to die soon. Of course, that is not what I am saying at all; really what I mean is that when the time comes, and I hope that time is a long time from now, I hope I can just go to bed in my home and of course die in my sleep. I don’t think that is a death wish or unreasonable request.
The alternative to staying home is to live in either someone else’s home or a senior home or nursing home, and living by someone else’s rules. This is precisely what I do not want, and I don’t really think many others do either. I also have no desire to live with any of my children, and I would hazard a guess that is not what they would want either. It’s not that we don’t love or care about each other, and if they had to, they would accept it. I am just not yet (and hope never to be) prepared to accept a reversal of roles.
When I wrote my book on this topic, I did, in fact, write it for all us Seniors as well as their children. I wanted them to know that no matter what their age they should be given the opportunity to live where they choose. I deplore the age discrimination that exists in our society and being one of the aging demographic want to tell the world that we “old people ” are still and will continue to contribute to society. We can age in place; we may need to seek some form of home care, but not to the extent some may think, especially if we follow the advice in the book.
If you haven’t read it and learned just what you are capable of when comes to independent living click on the link below. And if you are an older adult, have an aging parent, you too can benefit from reading it and then give it your parents. You will both be thankful.
Here is a review from just one of our readers:
I have several books about “aging in place,”
and most are about the home renovations needed or the financial aspects. Many are written by well-meaning caregivers, and frankly, can be condescending. The author of this book has “been there, and done ( or doing) that.” I found its tone refreshing as well as helpful. It includes the usual lighting, nonslip flooring, etc. recommendations, but also talks about attitude, exercise, and knowing your limitations.