10 Things We All Hate About Rotating Nursing Beds

According to the CDC, “Aging in place is the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” As a registered and licensed occupational therapist (OTR/L) and Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS), the concept of aging in place is a very familiar one. Even after a significant health change or reduction in mobility, the majority of my clients want to stay in their current homes and age in place.

Although every person is different, and of course each situation is unique to the individual, there are some universal sensory considerations when aging in place. With limited mobility or a significant health change, seniors often struggle with repetitive self-care tasks such as bathing/grooming, dressing and toileting, which can be very challenging for them. In addition, these tasks may lead to a decline in their mobility and ability to self-care. Together, these changes can make it very difficult for seniors to continue living independently at home.

On the other hand, sensory considerations are often not considered when planning for aging in place. The most common sensory considerations I’ve found with my clients is the tactile defensiveness, which can often lead to a very uncomfortable home environment. Other sensory considerations might include visual or auditory overstimulation from certain lights and sounds (pets, exterior noises), which may make it difficult for seniors to sleep at night or get into their activities during the day.

As an OT1 with a background in geriatrics and working with seniors, I’ve seen many common sensory challenges that can easily (and inexpensively) be corrected/improved in the home. There are a few key areas to target when making plans for aging in place:

The number one sensory consideration when continuing to age in place is protecting hearing. As people age, they are at a higher risk for developing hearing loss, which puts them at even greater risk for falls and other accidents. Not only is this risk to one’s life -- it’s also a significant strain on the family members who must take care of their loved ones. I recommend you go through your home

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