Growing older

Where will you live when you are old?

What are the options? This article gives my perspective on some Australian options.

You can live independently, in your own home.

This is possible as long as you stay physically and mentally well. In Australia you can get help with showering, shopping and cleaning, and you can have meals delivered or you can buy meals from a number of businesses who specialise in providing options. Alternatively, you might live in a retirement village, where you have independent but supported living. You are in your own home but there is someone you can call on if you have an emergency. Sometimes these options are near shopping centres or golf courses, and people are generally quite active. People often move to this option when they are 55+ years old.

But one day, you may need more support, perhaps because you become forgetful and leave the gas turned on, or it becomes too hard to look after yourself and your home. You might choose (or your family might choose for you) a low care option, where you can still come and go as you please, but you have all or some meals cooked for you, and you have options for personal care like hairdressing, and exercise classes on-site.

We call them aged care facilities…

I think that says a lot, because each facility has to operate as a business. It may have facilities that a person did not have in their home – like a pool, or a gym; but in some ways it can never be like home if you share a meal table with strangers. Some people adapt well, and others not so well.

Note; this article does not refer to the above aged care facility- the picture is merely an example of a modern residential facility.

In some cultures, family would automatically take you to live with them, but this is generally not the case in Australia today.

What is your opinion about how we should care for our older people?

Where would you choose to spend your later years?

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