We’ve all heard the buzz words…
‘Living in place’
‘Aging in place’
And a new one I came across – “ecological model of aging’. Well, not exactly ‘new’, but new to me. Once I read about it more indepth it all made sense. And then of course, I had to write about it.
Ok so there were two people – Nahemow and Lawton – in the 1970’s who conducted studies in ‘adult development and aging’. They came up with a framework that makes total sense to me and it confounds me that people don’t talk about this anymore!
Ecological Model of Aging basically says that aging in place “is a process that involves both the person and the environment; it is a continuous dynamic interaction as both the person and the environment change”.
According to their model…
“When a person has the capabilities to meet the demands of the environment or the demands of the environment are reduced to match the person’s capabilities, a successful interaction occurs.
However, once the demands of the environment exceed the person’s capabilities or the person’s capabilities exceed the environment demands, a maladaptive situation occurs.”
Oh, that’s my dog Kaia to the right. I mentioned her in another blog….and thought I would post her again.
So aging in place is not just about getting old, it’s about ensuring your environment matches your capabilities as you age. You can do all the renovations to your home to prepare for aging in place…but if your capabilities do not match your home’s environment, then you can not thrive.
Yes, preparing your home is still very important but so is taking care of yourself as you age.
My father was very active and walked for at least an hour every day. He always said to me that when you stop walking, things go downhill. So he would walk every morning. Rain or shine. He also got to chat with people he met along the way and talk to their dogs. So it also became a social outing for him.
We had to place him in a home because of his dementia, not his physical condition. We still took him for walks when we visited. And you could tell he loved it. He even got to know his way around his neighbourhood.
But since COVID, we couldn’t go for a walk with him let alone visit. So the walking stopped. And what happened? He has gone downhill. He now has to hold onto the wall to walk down the corridor. His health has declined. And his dementia is worse.
My point is – aging in place is more than just getting old in your home. It about a healthy lifestyle. So by striving for a healthy lifestyle you can stay in your current home environment longer.
People always talk about the “home” when they talk ‘aging in place’. It’s time we talk about lifestyle, don’t you think?
A Healthy Lifestyle
I decided to start talking about lifestyle because my clients are typically in their 50’s and 60’s and are renovating their homes before they retire. And this is great because I love renovations (and I honestly believe I am the only person in the world that does!).
But I also want them to be able to enjoy their home for as long as possible.
So, when you are thinking about renovating your home before you retire, think about renovating your life as well. Exercise, a good diet and minimizing stress now will serve you well into your retirement years.
So I want you to do two things…because I got you covered on both sides of aging in place – you and your environment.
Go here to download Tips to Positive Aging.
Then head here to get Renovate for Life: A Guide to Living In place At Home.
Or you can just scroll down…there are sign up forms there. LOL.
Until next time my friends, stay safe.