Staying in your home as you get older
For retirees, familiar surroundings and an existing support network can be benefits of staying in their own home as they age; but there’s more to consider when making the decision to remain at home.
Is your home suitable to remain in if you get frail or lose mobility?
There are some home features like stairs, bathtubs, slippery flooring and steep hills which can be difficult to manage with limited mobility or strength. However there are changes you can make to your house that will assist you to remain mobile at home, these include:
Handrails - Installing handrails ensures there is adequate support for getting up, sitting down and lying down in the house. Handrails can be a great addition in bathrooms to prevent slips or falls on tiles or slippery flooring.
Tap turners - Tap turners make it easy to turn taps on and off; these can be used on most taps.
Therapeutic furniture - including therapeutic beds and chairs; these can make it easy to sit up, get into and out of bed or get into a comfortable position on an armchair.
Monitored personal alarm - these lightweight devices are portable and can be worn on your person or kept close-by.
Non-slip mats - placing non-slip mats on tiled or linoleum floors can prevent slips or falls, especially where there is water around, for example in front of the sink.
What services are available to help at home?
There are a number of services available designed to assist people to stay in their own home as they get older. Depending on where you live you could have access to food preparation or food delivery services, assistance with shopping, gardening maintenance or other daily tasks. There are also a range of specialist health services that can be delivered in the home, such as nurse on call and physiotherapy.
How can you get help at home?
The first step is to be assessed for eligibility, you may be eligible for help at home services if you are an older person and need help to complete everyday tasks, have an illness or need short-term assistance. Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to be assessed for eligibility.
Remaining at home as you age is an excellent way to stay in touch with friends and family and remain active in your local community which has benefits to your physical and mental wellbeing. For further information and to get help at home, visit the My Aged Care website or call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.