Safe and Accessible Homes

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My grandpa is really getting up there in years, and now that my grandma has passed away, my family is facing some tough decisions. We’re concerned about my grandpa’s health and safety if he continues to live alone — he is prone to falls and doesn’t have great mobility — and we’re thinking about trying to convince him to make a move to an assisted living facility.


I’m not sure if that’s the right decision or not. But, to be honest, it’s kind of up to my parents anyway. For me, it’s just something that troubles me and really brings me down. Is this what we have to look forward to in old age? I feel really upset about it, and I don’t know what to do.


Making decisions about elderly relatives can be incredibly difficult. We’re sorry to hear about your grandma, and we’re sorry that your grandpa’s current situation is causing you so much grief and anxiety. You should know, though, that the golden years can be happy ones. And you should also know that you have support systems available to you as you deal with the situation your family is facing right now.


Mobility and safety concerns can be very real in old age. As we age, our bodies tend to become more prone to injury and illness. It’s easier to break bones when we fall, and it’s harder for us to help ourselves if we take a tumble. Unfortunately, it’s just not always possible for seniors to live alone — there are, in some cases, just too many dangers associated with solitary living for seniors.


That doesn’t mean that living alone in old age is impossible. Every senior is different, and many find themselves perfectly capable of handling their own space. There are also plenty of ways to make a space more senior-friendly, as a quick glance at walk in tubs reviews will tell you. In addition to bathroom adjustments like walk-in tubs, seniors with the means can add ramps, handrails, stair lifts, and other safety and mobility devices to their space to make it more feasible to live alone.


And, of course, choosing to live elsewhere isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many assisted living facilities are quite comfortable and enjoyable for their residents — in fact, there are some very pricey luxury options out there! (Some good news, though: money isn’t everything when it comes to seniors’ quality of life.) Whether and where to move is a decision that each person and family will make based on factors like health, mobility, quality of life, care needs, and budget.


We don’t doubt that this is a tough time for your family, and we understand that you feel a little helpless as your parents and grandpa wrestle with the issue. Please know that you are not alone. You can and should stay in the loop by speaking to your parents about this, and you can gain further support by speaking to a professional. Perhaps you should seek out a psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist to chat with about your mental health. Your school also has on-campus resources for you — consider taking advantage of them in this difficult time. We should all be more proactive about our mental health, and there is every reason to believe that regular visits to a professional can be helpful. This might be a good time for you to start exploring those options.


Senior life can be beautiful, but it certainly has its challenges and tough times. This doesn’t seem to be an easy decision for your family or your grandpa, and that’s okay. It’s a decision that should be taken seriously to ensure that your grandpa ends up in the best possible situation. Have faith that your family will do what’s best, and don’t be afraid to seek support as you wrestle with your own feelings about the situation. We wish you all the best.


“The most important thing in the world is family and love.”  — John Wooden