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By Dr. Tyra Oldham

A safe place and safe space are essential to a healthy and sustainable life for everyone. Those with a safe place and safe space often take this wonderful gift for granted, but there are many not in a safe place or safe space. Currently, and in the past, it became necessary to secure my mother in a safe place and safe space for short-term care. As a caregiver, this creates anxiety to ensure continuity of care. As the sole caregiver, it is up to me to make the decisions whereas, family members have the responsibility to make shared choices while hopefully defining their roles in caring for their loved ones. For me, as the sole decision-maker, daughter, and POA (power of attorney), all responsibility rests with me to ease the way for my mother in care choices. The POA is no small task coordinating medicines, care regiments, informing the hospital or facility of who your loved one was and is before their placement. So, in the end, the goal is for your loved one to be in a safe place and safe space for healing. That decision during COVID is more significant for the caregiver to consider what is a safe place and safe space.

It is essential to a healthy life how and where you live. Not everyone has the same support or options as they age. Some choose to spend retirement at home, while others in retirement communities and some with their families. A safe place and space is an option for those with resources, choices, and planning.

An “Age Safe America” article revealed on January 26, 2017, that “90% of older Americans say they want to age-in-place (meaning to stay in their own home instead of assisted living), yet 85% have done nothing to prepare their homes for the aging. Plus, much of the nation’s housing inventory lacks basic accessibility features, preventing older adults and those with disabilities from living safely and comfortably in their homes.” When I came home to take care of my mother, I had to make numerous changes to her home to create a safe place and safe space. How she lived up to 80 was no longer feasible or safe. These home conversions were all in the name of her care, requiring contract management oversight and even completing some unfinished jobs.

The opportunity is to consider what, when, and where your loved one will need a safe place and safe space. Family planning can ensure your loved one is cared for and prepared for changes in their lifestyle. This thinking is not just for your loved one but also the caregiver. Caregivers give so much to those they care for that they can neglect themselves. Safe place and space planning are vital for all. Everyone needs a safe place and space. Caregiver, where will your safe place and safe space be when you age and are no longer as vital or agile as you were when younger? A safe place and safe space are some of the most important aspects of aging.  

Your safe place and safe space maybe with your children for parents. Parents can live with their adult children, or children can come home to support their parents. The conversation on safe place and safe is best made when parents are still vital and even working to negotiate their safe place and safe space properly. For those people without children, a safe place and space conversation are crucial to your care plan to create options for the caregiver when older. For some, no matter their family situation or size, a facility, retirement complex, living with friends, or another solution may become the better option. Whatever your plans, it is crucial to think about your future safe place and safe space. There is no time like the present to think about your future, no matter your age. If you are older and finding yourself in need of care, call a family meeting and ask for assistance. Without family, reach out to your support team and friends and build a solution. Never be afraid to ask for help. Part two of Safe Place Safe Space focuses on why and what occurs when a safe place and space is overlooked or under-considered.

Look for part two of safe place safe space in the next Care Corner.

For more information on care support and caregiving advice, write or email the “Care Corner.” Want to discuss care? Care Corner is that place to talk care, address questions for current and potential caregivers, and provide suggestions on agencies, services, and tips to assist in a care journey. (Read more of the article from the Herald Newspaper– subscribe now

The Care Corner is for everyone, no matter their age or process in care. For more information on caregiving, send your questions to Care Corner at the Cincinnati Herald or via email at

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