Living with an age-related disability
While there is plenty to love about growing older, it can also come with long-term health issues that significantly impact daily life and make simple tasks difficult to accomplish. From arthritis to heart problems, age-related disabilities are not uncommon, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics citing that in 2015 just over half (50.7%) of Australians aged 65 and over reported living with disability.
Living with an age-related disability can change your needs significantly and requires adaptions and modifications to your environment and the way you live. However, there are some simple ways to minimise the impact that having a disability has on your everyday life.
Make changes to your home
Creating a safe and manageable home should be paramount once an age-related disability starts to set in. However, it can be easy to overlook the types of alterations required when home is such a familiar place. There are a number of helpful modifications that can be made to a home such as:
- Remove steps, as these can be hazardous if balance, eyesight or stability is an issue
- Look into installing larger light switches if you are affected by arthritis
- Raise kitchen utilities (such as your oven or microwave) to avoid bending over
- Install hand rails in bathrooms for ease of mobility
These are also important considerations if you are looking at moving into a retirement village or aged care facility.
See a physiotherapist
Physiotherapists can treat a range of different concerns such as pain, limited mobility, reduced flexibility or injury. When dealing with an age-related disability, everyone’s needs and expectations are different and that’s why it’s important to be personally assessed for a tailored approach to managing your disability.
Seek a cleaner
An age-related disability can turn tasks that were once simple, such as the washing up, doing laundry or vacuuming, into a real struggle. There are many different home-cleaning services available and you can personalise the service to suit the level of assistance you require. For example, Absolute Domestics allows you to select whether you would like a regular clean, a once-off clean or a vacating clean, as well as how many hours you would like the cleaner for and the days you would prefer them to come.
Talk to someone
So often, the stigma attached to having a disability is enough to discourage social interaction and can leave those suffering to feel isolated. However with over 50% of Australian seniors in the same position, you are not alone. Staying connected to your peers can be encouraging, inspiring and deter feelings of loneliness or depression.
Living with an age-related disability is no easy feat and the challenges involved can make it feel as though the world is resting on your shoulders. However, these recommendations may help you manage your physical and mental wellbeing, and lessen the effect of your disability.
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