There are some new terms evolving in the aging in place discussion.  As the  corporate entities of senior housing strive to sell/ rent you an place for your golden years, they are careful with their terminology. I guess the term assisted living is a bar most people hope to avoid while staying independent. So they have been coming up with new descriptions/variations of assisted living like ‘supervised housing’ or ‘independence lite housing’. In other words it is not you that is being supervised but your immediate living space.

All this twisting about with semantics is an effort to make reluctant future consumers feel less imposed upon?  I have expect the next thing will be to make people question/measure their residual strength.  Can’t twist that jar lid off…time to go …there will be ads about studies that show lack of hand strength is a sign of early death.   I guess every time you can not get that jar of mayonnaise open, you should put a negative number on your longevity line. 

Maintaining strength is something that does not happen miraculously.  As we age it overuse or disuse that causes the problems.  Staying independent means doing and continuing to do all sorts of  tasks with our hands, more than just turning those easier to use lever door handles.  After time in the garden weeding by hand, running a vacuum then chopping all those healthy vegetables for dinner prep, then throw in just an average amount of arthritis due to age, the fatigue is real.

Those of us who spent or still have long stretch on a computer keyboard,  repetitive stress injuries and accompanying  maladies  such as cubital and carpal tunnel syndromes are very real. Or maybe all that time has helped us evolve the species for stronger hand strength. 

Maybe the use it or lose it the principle at work here.  I was glad to give up mowing the the lawn to a local contractor. Thinking of those Blue Zone people again, I am still okay happy to do some weeding.  My point is, if you want to stay long term in your own home, you need to know when to hand off some of the work to others. Yes, the extra expense has to be a part of your budget but the alternative is giving up most of your independence for a much bigger price tag.

Staying independent but not exhausting yourself will become a fine balance the older you get- so start now.