Age Place News


Keeping you up to date with the latest & greatest home accessibility solutions and ageing in place news.

Age Place News


Keeping you up to date with the latest & greatest home accessibility solutions and ageing in place news.

Latest News

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1 week ago
Age Place

Longevity seems to be an aspiration of the young and paradoxically, for many, being elderly is an almost forgotten consequence of achieving that aspiration.

With Baby Boomers now reaching the retirement age an ever increasing percentage of the population is becoming directly and indirectly affected by having to consider the best options to maintain a good quality of life for ourselves or our parents in our more mature years.

In 2012 there were 4.5 million Australians over the age of 60, representing 19.6% of the population and by 2050 this percentage will have increased to 28.9%.
Surveys and statistics in the USA have identified that 90% of adults over the age of 65 report that they would prefer to stay in their current residence as they age and one third of American Households are home to one or more residents 60 years of age or older.

The demographic makeup and the impact of the GFC in the US are likely to be responsible for a higher proportion of multigenerational homes than presently exists in Australia, but the issue of an increasing number of the population being of retirement age and the vast majority preferring to remain in their own home is as relevant in Australia as it is for most of the Western world.

There are many reasons for people wishing to remain in their own home in later years. Apart from financial benefits, to the individuals and the community at large, which are often overlooked, the psychological and general health benefits of ageing in familiar surroundings are well documented. However, the aspired enjoyment and quality of life can be severely undermined or destroyed by risks and handicaps that, with appropriate information, can be avoided or mitigated.

As we age problems arise from,
• General motor functioning deterioration – Statistically, 32% of those over the age of 65 will have some difficulty walking, which will require the use of a cane, walking frame or wheelchair. For those with this mobility issue many existing homes present obstacles and problems. Home modifications, such as door width and passage widening, addition of handrails, the alteration of the heights of sinks and toilets and stair lifts, can ameliorate the difficulties that arise as a consequence of these handicaps and considerable improve the physical and emotional quality of life. Anxiety and depression affect many older people and feeling safe and able to lead life as hazard free as possible makes a difference.

• Fine motor functioning also reduces for many as we age and can cause difficulties with moving fingers impacting on many basic activities that we take for granted in our younger years. Modifications of handles on doors and bathroom and kitchen modifications will remove many of the difficulties that can arise from this reduced function. There are also specially designed cups and other utensils that are available.

• The five senses and cognitive capabilities tend to reduce as we age with slower response time, hearing limitations and visual impairment, with consequential dangers including fire hazards. There many options available to overcome or minimise the problems that arise.

To respond to these and other challenges that can arise as we age there is a range of services available.

The www.ageplace.com.au website, provides information and links so that you or your parents can plan to live the rest of your/their days in a comfortable, familiar environment, in a cherished neighbourhood and with an enduring sense of wellbeing and self-worth.
... See MoreSee Less

Longevity seems to be an aspiration of the young and paradoxically, for many, being elderly is an almost forgotten consequence of achieving that aspiration.
With Baby Boomers now reaching the retirement age an ever increasing percentage of the population is becoming directly and indirectly affected by having to consider the best options to maintain a good quality of life for ourselves or our parents in our more mature years.
In 2012 there were 4.5 million Australians over the age of 60, representing 19.6% of the population and by 2050 this percentage will have increased to 28.9%.
Surveys and statistics in the USA have identified that 90% of adults over the age of 65 report that they would prefer to stay in their current residence as they age and one third of American Households are home to one or more residents 60 years of age or older.
The demographic makeup and the impact of the GFC in the US are likely to be responsible for a higher proportion of multigenerational homes than presently exists in Australia, but the issue of an increasing number of the population being of retirement age and the vast majority preferring to remain in their own home is as relevant in Australia as it is for most of the Western world.
There are many reasons for people wishing to remain in their own home in later years. Apart from financial benefits, to the individuals and the community at large, which are often overlooked, the psychological and general health benefits of ageing in familiar surroundings are well documented. However, the aspired enjoyment and quality of life can be severely undermined or destroyed by risks and handicaps that, with appropriate information, can be avoided or mitigated.
As we age problems arise from,
• General motor functioning deterioration – Statistically, 32%  of those over the age of 65 will have some difficulty walking, which will require the use of a cane, walking frame or wheelchair. For those with this mobility issue many existing homes present obstacles and problems. Home modifications, such as door width and passage widening, addition of handrails, the alteration of the heights of sinks and toilets and stair lifts, can ameliorate the difficulties that arise as a consequence of these handicaps and considerable improve the physical and emotional quality of life. Anxiety and depression affect many older people and feeling safe and able to lead life as hazard free as possible makes a difference.
• Fine motor functioning also reduces for many as we age and can cause difficulties with moving fingers impacting on many basic activities that we take for granted in our younger years. Modifications of handles on doors and bathroom and kitchen modifications will remove many of the difficulties that can arise from this reduced function. There are also specially designed cups and other utensils that are available.
• The five senses and cognitive capabilities tend to reduce as we age with slower response time, hearing limitations and visual impairment, with consequential dangers including fire hazards. There many options available to overcome or minimise the problems that arise.
To respond to these and other challenges that can arise as we age there is a range of services available.
The www.ageplace.com.au website, provides information and links so that you or your parents can plan to live the rest of your/their days in a comfortable, familiar environment, in a cherished neighbourhood and with an enduring sense of wellbeing and self-worth.
3 weeks ago
Age Place

Falls in the home cost the Elderly and Government

There are enormous strains being placed on the public hospital system and Medicare by elderly people (65 years and over) who suffer injurious falls and require treatment.

Based on Table 3.2 of Hospitalisations due to falls by older people Australia 2009/10 prepared by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AWIS), there were 41,080 falls in households by people aged 65 and over that resulted in hospital stays. What makes matters worse is that contemporary research indicates that there is a chances of falling again is highly likely. The costs to Medicare are enormous.

This trend is set to continue at levels never seen before as a result of the ageing of baby boomers. In 2012, there were 4.5 million Australians over the age of 60 representing 19.6% of the population and by 2050, this percentage will increase to 28.9% (12 million).

There is an opportunity to offset the increasing cost of hospitalisation by focusing on home modifications to (i) improve safety and accessibility for elderly outpatients and (ii) savings for Government.

Bathroom and kitchen areas can be potentially dangerous areas where slips and trips occur resulting in injury. Using bathroom and kitchen fall data from the AWIS Report and pro-rating other unspecified falls across the home, the total bathroom falls amounted to approximately 8815 events and the kitchen falls amounted to approximately 5172 events during 2009/10.
There are a variety of reasons why slips and trips occur in bathrooms and kitchens. Bathroom injury can occur through incorrect transfer from mobility aid to and from shower, pan and bathtub. Furthermore, the Building Code Australia (BCA) does not specify a slip resistant rating of bathroom and kitchen tiles in a home. The mix of water on slippery tiles with a person of unsteady gait can leads to a potential devastating injury.

The resultant cost to the government is as follows:
Taken from AWIS Report, the estimated total mean length of stay for fall injury cases is 15.5 days. The cost of a hospital bed is $1200/day.
The cost over a year resulting from bathroom falls is approximately $164 Million.
The cost over a year resulting from kitchen falls is approximately $96 Million.

In the Australian clinical investigation report entitled Home Visits by an Occupational Therapist for Assessment and Modifications of Environmental Hazards: A Randomised Trial for Fall Prevention (1999) it was concluded that home modifications reduced the proportion of falls among older people whom are at increased risk of falling by 36%.
Using these findings with fall data from the AWIS Report 2009/10, it is possible that hospitalisation costs could be reduced by $94 Million - $59 Million (bathrooms) and $34 Million (kitchens).

The cost of the program to modify bathrooms and kitchens of affected people would be $14 Million.

Potential savings to government would be in the order of $80 Million per year.
... See MoreSee Less

Falls in the home cost the Elderly and Government
There are enormous strains being placed on the public hospital system and Medicare by elderly people (65 years and over) who suffer injurious falls and require treatment.
Based on Table 3.2 of Hospitalisations due to falls by older people Australia 2009/10 prepared by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AWIS), there were 41,080 falls in households by people aged 65 and over that resulted in hospital stays.  What makes matters worse is that contemporary research indicates that there is a chances of falling again is highly likely.  The costs to Medicare are enormous.
This trend is set to continue at levels never seen before as a result of the ageing of baby boomers.   In 2012, there were 4.5 million Australians over the age of 60 representing 19.6% of the population and by 2050, this percentage will increase to 28.9% (12 million). 
There is an opportunity to offset the increasing cost of hospitalisation by focusing on home modifications to (i) improve safety and accessibility for elderly outpatients and (ii) savings for Government. 
Bathroom and kitchen areas can be potentially dangerous areas where slips and trips occur resulting in injury.  Using bathroom and kitchen fall data from the AWIS Report and pro-rating other unspecified falls across the home, the total bathroom falls amounted to approximately 8815 events and the kitchen falls amounted to approximately 5172 events during 2009/10.
There are a variety of reasons why slips and trips occur in bathrooms and kitchens.  Bathroom injury can occur through incorrect transfer from mobility aid to and from shower, pan and bathtub.  Furthermore, the Building Code Australia (BCA) does not specify a slip resistant rating of bathroom and kitchen tiles in a home.  The mix of water on slippery tiles with a person of unsteady gait can leads to a potential devastating injury.
The resultant cost to the government is as follows:
Taken from AWIS Report, the estimated total mean length of stay for fall injury cases is 15.5 days.  The cost of a hospital bed is $1200/day.
The cost over a year resulting from bathroom falls is approximately $164 Million.
The cost over a year resulting from kitchen falls is approximately $96 Million.
In the Australian clinical investigation report entitled Home Visits by an Occupational Therapist for Assessment and Modifications of Environmental Hazards: A Randomised Trial for Fall Prevention (1999) it was concluded that home modifications reduced the proportion of falls among older people whom are at increased risk of falling by 36%. 
Using these findings with fall data from the AWIS Report 2009/10, it is possible that hospitalisation costs could be reduced by $94 Million - $59 Million (bathrooms) and $34 Million (kitchens).
The cost of the program to modify bathrooms and kitchens of affected people would be $14 Million.
Potential savings to government would be in the order of $80 Million per year.