AARP often makes the news for what we do on the national level. Yet much of our energy and success is at the state and community level. AARP Oregon is a group of dedicated staff and volunteers working together to improve the lives of not only our 500,000 Oregon members, but all Oregonians.
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Recently much of our efforts have been focused on helping our members and other 50+ Oregonians learn about how they can stay at home and in their own community as long as they want.
Eighty-nine percent of 50+ Americans say they want to remain in their own home and community, but often their homes and communities are not ready for them. Getting older should not necessarily mean one has to start looking at alternative places to live like assisted living facilities, especially if you really want to stay put.
Jerry Cohen, state director for AARP Oregon, “You should look at everything from the neighborhood you live in to what modifications you can make in your home that will assist you in staying in your home for as long as you are physically and financially able to do so.”
For example, Portland was the first city in the United States to be designated an age-friendly city by the World Health Organization. Does your community have adequate walking trails, bike paths and safe and reliable public transportation? Older adults and people of all ages need to get up and around and be social to have a quality life. If personal driving is no longer an option then getting to and from places, safely and comfortably are factors to be looked into.
Everyone needs to feel valued and being active prevents that downward spiral often seen once people lose their sense of worth. So ask yourself how easy is it to be socially and actively engaged in my community? Is there a community center you can go to? Are your neighbors friendly and people you trust? Are there enough volunteer opportunities to encourage you to get involved?
Sometime your home itself may pose challenge in being able to remain at home and age in place successfully. However from installing brighter light bulbs, replacing round door handles for levers, to replacing traditional toilets for comfort height ones, installing grab bars, there are actually some low-cost modifications that can make living in your home easier. Want to learn more? Call us at 1-877-926-8300 and ask for a copy of The AARP Home Fit Guide (D18959).
Whether you want to order a publication, or you want to learn about the work AARP is doing in your neighborhood AARP has resources and information to get you started and connected.
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