As a Boomer myself, I have concerns about many things. If I live longer than my parents, how will I support myself when retirement resources dwindle? Will I become a caregiver for those I care about? Will health be an issue? What about health care costs?
A new poll says that my concerns are not unlike many other Baby Boomers who are facing the elder years with both positive expectations and a reflective sadness. According to the Associated Press survey, Boomers are amazingly confident about growing older, much more than the previous generation including watching their family grow up and be successful, doing more with family and friends that anticipated, and having the freedom to explore favorite activities in more depth such as traveling, even exploring a second career.
Among the top concerns, physical ailments that would take away their independence, losing their memory, and being unable to pay the health care costs. And as they look back on their own parents, many of which became less active in their later years, Boomers appeared determined not to follow the same path.
Other surveys including one by ASID, the American Society of Interior Designers, clearly indicates that boomers would prefer to stay in their home as they age. And with the right design changes made in advance of need, it is possible to not only "age-in-place" but do so with a higher measure of safety and security. Some are simple adaptations made like swapping out knobs for pulss, others require a weekend or two like installing a taller toiler while others such as creating a curbless shower - one without that nasty step-over - requires a bit of planning, design and expertise.
But imagine one client who "permitted" me to create a curbless shower for the master bathroom we were renovating who said directly after unexpected hip replacement surgery kept him off the golf course and in the hospital for nearly two weeks, "I can't believe that this would make such a difference in my life. I was able to come home early from the hospital and move quite easily into and out of the shower." That reaction is gratifying because for this Boomer, he was able to retain a measure of independence at a moment when he thought that he would need much more assistance from others like his long time companion or home health care aide.
And that's why developing a forward thinking master design plan now for the home is critical to one's independence and for Boomers, it adds to the peace of mind and comfort, resulting in a happier, healthier state. And speaking of happy, the AP pole found that 1 in 5 would consider cosmetic surgery.
To Lean More About The Design Concepts of Aging In Place, CLICK HERE.
To Read More About The Associated Press Poll, go to www.LifeGoesStrong.com
Michael is an award winning interior designer based in Palm Springs, CA. He is a Professional Member of the American Society of Interior Designers and a member of the ASID College of Fellows.
As a Certified Aging In Place Specialist, he creates smart looking spaces that are safe and secure and create homes for a lifetime.
And with thirty plus years in the profession, he has honed his humor, elevated his passion for design and sharpened his wit to not take anything too seriously except his design work.