Aging in Place With All 5 Senses

Aging in Place With All 5 Senses

Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone…

~Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell

Homesickness is the distress caused by being away from home. Its cognitive hallmark is preoccupying thoughts of home and attachment objects. Sufferers typically report a combination of depressive and anxious symptoms, withdrawn behavior and difficulty focusing on topics unrelated to home. ~Wikipedia

Aging in Place

Your home is a multi-sensory experience and because of the law-of-familiarity, over time we stop noticing and our senses are lulled into dullness. We become unaware of the many little things which are the scaffolding to our experience of home. Only when we are deprived of “Home” do our senses begin to wake up and recall why we feel a sense of loss.

Sights Think about the visuals in your home that delight. What are they? Where are they? The way the afternoon sunlight moves through the kitchen on early spring days. Or the garden light’s amber glow in the evening that light up the pathway to the shed.

Sounds Think about the windchimes which dance to the evening breeze. What are they? Where are they? Or maybe the neighbor kids playing in their back yard, NPR on the radio in the background, perhaps the grinding of coffee downstairs in the early morning hour.

Smells Think about the aromas. What are they? Where are they? Fresh ground coffee, toast crisping in the toaster, newly mowed lawn, faint sweetness of laundry tumbling in the dryer, or a fire in the fireplace on a winter night, or the roses in bloom outside the bedroom window.

Textures Think about the rich sensations which surround you at home. What are they? Where are they? Soft texture underfoot of deep pile living room carpet, or the firm smooth hardwoods in the hallway. Or the feel of porcelain doorknobs in your hand, or the cool solid surface of stone countertops.

Tastes Think about gustatory delights. What are they? Where are they? Fresh baked cookies just out of the oven, juicy ripe fruits resting in a bowl, cold beer out of the mini fridge in the shop/garage.

Where is your Cozy Spot?

Where is your Creative Space?

Where do you Cultivate your own uniqueness?

Where do you get Business done?

Where do you Re-energize?

Where do you Hide out?

The Aging in Place Question:

Can you Imagine giving these up?

A useful aging-in-place exercise is to take stock of our dwellings in terms of how they “Spark Joy” (shout out to Marie). Contemplate how your 5 senses are activated by the place you call home. Be mindful and think deeply into how these sensual experiences contribute to your Quality of Life–and what it would mean to not have them accessible to you any longer. These insights can go a long way in motivating your efforts to remain home by choice. Do what’s needed to continue to living in that unique space you’ve cultivated over many years. Start with an evaluation by a CAPS professional and follow up on recommendations.


Just Notice Home…

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