While I don’t intend to write endlessly about aging, I couldn’t resist commenting on a recent trend in advertisements aimed at people my age. This push is called “aging in place.” It sounded strange to me when I first heard it and imagined I was supposed to hold still, as in the game Freeze Tag I played as a kid, until I died. It turns out, though, that “aging in place” seems to be focused on selling you things to make your home easier to live in when you are “aging.” The premise being, I guess, that without buying all these things you will have to move into one of the also widely advertised “assisted living” facilities.
Now I agree that there are difficulties in older two or more level homes when one has lost mobility. My home was certainly not built with any idea that it would need to accommodate a wheelchair. And I acknowledge that if one of us needed one, we would have to move homes. However, these other pitches seemed to be aimed at stair lifts, lower cabinets, higher toilets, self-raising chairs and step in bath tubs. Again, I can understand the need for some of these alterations for some people. However, the general idea seems to be that if you intend to stay in your home and get older(which seems likely!) you better spend a lot of money right away to make that happen.
I remember no conversations like this before my gigantic post-War generation entered their “twilight” years. Suddenly we are as big a market for home remodeling and hearing aids as we once were for rock concerts.(Note the connection.) And we are all living in homes we will soon have to leave unless we “act fast.”
As for me, I continue to work out at the gym, strengthening my core muscles so I can get out of a chair myself. I work on my balance to prevent, if possible, a fall. I have a grab bar in the tub and a rubber mat on the tub floor. Otherwise, we are just “aging in place” without spending any money. If and when we need to, we will see if we need to alter our home. Until then, I would prefer no more advertisements for walk-in tubs.