Most of us would prefer to stay within the comfort of our own homes for as long as possible, rather than move into an aged care facility.
Many of our senior population want to remain independent in the comfort and familiarity of their own home, stay connected with their local community and not have to pay the high cost of residential care.
Opportunities Are Evolving
The government-sponsored home modification schemes known as the ‘Home Renovation Service scheme’, was conducted between the period of 1990-2016, where up to 4,500 home visits per year were made to the homes of elderly and disable people, assessing whether modifications were needed to ensure home were safe and easily accessible.
Reports from the scheme had shown that renovations to bathrooms were particularly common, as many elderly individuals throughout Victoria have walk-in showers instead of baths and toilets that are difficult to use without assistance.
Additionally, rooms within the houses often had door widths that were too narrow for people with mobility issues. Other common problems include:
- Poor floor finishes that make slips and falls more likely
- Absence of grab rails for support with balance
- Hard-to-use switches
These issues show that a lot of work is needed to be done to the standard house to make ageing at home a reality for Australians.
New Technology Could Be Crucial
Even in homes that have the right solutions in place to support ageing citizens, like grab rails and safe floor finishes, some individuals still need additional support. For instance, people with memory or cognitive issues may need extra help to ensure that they take their medication at the right time each day. Paying for a professional care provider could be expensive, if not impossible, for a lot of households. However, the arrival of new technology could also mean that accessing support is much easier.
Take, for example, the SOFIHUB home designed for elderly individuals. This smart assistant and monitoring device is perfect for those who want to stay at home but need assistance. This unique technology provides senior individuals and their families with a tool that they can use to access everything from medication timings and appointment reminders to carer information.
With the right updates to housing structures provided by government schemes and the evolutionary technology available from solutions like the SOFIHUB home, ageing at home could be an achievable reality for many senior Australians going forward.