Aging and Independence
February is National Senior Independence Month. During this month, we celebrate those older adults who are successfully living in our communities and focus on how to preserve that independence long-term. Successful and healthy aging “in place” requires community engagement & assistance that we all can provide to our seniors.
Risks to losing independence in late life include limited mobility and social isolation. Older adults in the community may struggle to keep up with cleaning due to health issues or hide problems with hygiene due to shame or embarrassment, ultimately resulting in a decline of well-being and loss of independence.
Here are some simple tips to successfully age in place and keep a home safe:
- Declutter all living areas in the home
- Install more lighting
- Make sure floors and stairs are anti-slip
- Use aging-friendly furniture
- Proactively modify bathrooms with assistive devices
Decluttering is a significant challenging in late life because of the sentimental attachment to objects, fatigue preventing the person from deep cleaning, fear of change, or undiagnosed mental or physical health issues. Hiring a professional to assist with this process can reduce the fear and anxiety as well as reduce the physical burden on the person.
If you know an older adult struggling to maintain their independence due to hoarding behaviors, pile-up of gross filth, or clutter that impairs mobility, call Bio-One Columbus today. We can remediate home spaces to be livable and support seniors to maintain independence for as long as possible.
Did You Know?
Ohio has the 18th largest population of adults over 65 in the United States! Other informative statistics include:
- Ohio has more than 2.8 million people aged 60 and older, or around 25% of Ohio’s total population.
- Approximately 35% of older adults in Ohio live alone.
- For those over 65, three-quarters have at least one chronic health condition and 43% have two or more conditions.
- Older adults who report frequent mental distress also have poorer physical health.
Community Connections: Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging
The Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging supports healthy aging in the community. They plan, fund, & deliver services to keep older adults and those with disabilities safe and independent in their home. Services include assistance in finding home health care, transportation, meals, and homemaking. They also provide educational programs for caregivers and the public. For more information, visit their website at COAAA
In 2022 Bio-One Columbus helped a total of 223 families and businesses. It’s a number that reflects a staggering amount of need for services here in our community. When I talk about that level of need, I’m often asked, “What’s your most common job?” While the scope of our remediation work ranges from trauma scenes to hoarding remediation and beyond, the most common call I consistently receive is from an older adult (or a family member of an older adult).
The situations are invariably similar in their presentation. The resident has some degree of physical disability, often paired with depression, and the situation in the home has progressed beyond their ability to recover without outside help. The home may be full of trash that was too heavy for the resident to get to a proper receptacle. Pets may not have been taken outside for days or longer, and litter boxes may not have been changed in weeks, months or even years. The end result is an environment that is not safe for the resident. Shame makes it nearly impossible to ask for help once this cycle has begun.
This is where Bio-One makes a significant difference. Health, safety and dignity are at the core of what we strive to restore for our clients in these situations. My advice: Reach out for help early and often. There’s no shame in asking for help when you need it. There are resources in place to help.
Bio-One of Columbus is a leader in crime scene cleanup and biohazard decontamination services in Columbus. Our technicians are highly skilled and have been trained on OSHA's safety standards. Bio-One of Columbus continues to be the most passionate and caring company in the cleaning services industry. For more information, visit us at https://www.bioonecolumbus.com/