In 1946, soldiers came home from war and started making babies. And Americans kept making babies right through 1964.
The resulting bump in population is called the “baby boom.” By 2030, all those boomers will be senior citizens. And the vast majority of them will only go to a nursing home as a last resort. Caregivers need to understand this trend as they plan for the future.
Baby boomers, you see, expect their environment to adjust to them. They are not content to adjust to their environment. That is why you are seeing such a surge in home redesigns that cater to a population that wants to stay active, independent, and relevant.
Baby boomers want a home they can grow old in, then very old in.
But What If Dad Lives In A Very Old House
Admittedly, it’s easier to install aging-in-place features like walk-in bathtubs, wheelchair friendly doorways, ramps, and showers, as well as optimally situated countertops, ovens, and refrigerator shelves in new construction.
But a home designer in the Midwest has shown that it is also possible to retrofit an old, historic home for old age. In Columbus, Ohio, the Henry C. Werner house was designed to demonstrate how a three-story historic home can be modified for aging in place.
The Werner house features Sensfloor technology. This means the floors themselves detect falls and alert caregivers. The same floors also detect if a senior is stumbling around in the dark and then work with the light system to provide more illumination in that section of the house.
The Werner house also features combination toilet/bidets to simplify hygiene, Bluetooth-enabled surround sound, touchless faucets, toilet seats and sinks that can be easily raised or lowered to suit the individual needs of the user, grab bars that have been remodeled to look glamorous, and many other features that make old age a cinch.
But What If You Have a Limited Budget For Home Modifications?
Admittedly, the Werner house is a dream home, an ideal to strive for. Many caregivers will not find that a home like that is not within the family budget.
In that case, it’s a good idea to prioritize your parent’s needs. Stairs represent a challenge to aging in place. Be sure to put in handrails, if not ramps to ease the difficulty of stair climbing. Be sure that tripping hazards, like throw rugs, are removed. A dishwasher may make it easier for a senior to keep up with the dishes. And locating everything the senior needs on a daily basis on one floor will also make life much easier. A home care professional can advise you on what home modifications are most needed to keep your senior safe and comfortable.
In conclusion, baby boomers are a new generation of old. Caregivers can expect their elderly parents to demand better options than seniors have had in the past. You can also expect your aging parents to demand more of themselves: more independence, more autonomy, more social engagement with peers. Innovative home design and reinvented appliances and fixtures are just a part of the new old.
If you or an aging loved one needs a Caregiver in Lincoln, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.