Aging in Place – Can you do it?
The social landscape of retirement is shifting. Baby boomers, those born between 1946 – 1964, are now reaching the age where retirement is on the horizon. Now, even more than the generation before, staying in the comfort of home instead of nursing home is important to seniors and their families. Here are a few things to consider as you prepare for this season of life.
Is Aging At Home Right For You?
There is a lot to consider before you can decide if aging at home is the right decision for you. Here are three categories you should consider for aging in place at your current home.
First and foremost, your home will need to be safe to navigate. As we become older, things that used to seem like “no big deal” are now a major challenge. Stairs are usually the number one concern. You may need to consider options to make your home accessible – stair lifts, single level patio homes, installing railings in the right places, etc.
Is your current home in a location you love? Will you have access to amenities like grocery stores and doctors offices. This may also be a good time to discuss with your extended family and any grown children about plans for transportation. Involving your family from the start will eliminate any uncomfortable situations down the road.
This category is tough to tackle but an absolute-must for deciding on your future retirement plans. You must have a financial plan for how long you can afford to live at your current home taking into account all expenses including mortgage or rent, utilities, and basic upkeep.
If you decide that you cannot afford to live in your home in your current situation, there are other solutions other than a nursing home. Some creative solutions include sharing your home with another senior, moving to a more functional home, or moving in with your children.
Senior LIFE Can Help You Age at Home
At Senior LIFE, our specialty is helping seniors live at home and out of a nursing home for as long as possible. We coordinate all medical and supportive services you need to stay home.
Aging at Home is an Option – Now What?
You’ve run all the numbers, discussed all your options, and decided that you can age in place. Now you need to looks at making the physical changes to your home to make it safe and functional for you as you age.
Here’s a checklist for prepping your home for aging in place.
-Make all stairs manageable via stair lift, proper railings, etc.
-Move kitchen supplies to lower cabinets
-Install grab bars in shower and by toilets
-Remove rugs and other fall hazards for common walkways
There may also be some larger adjustments that you may need to make to your home that may require hiring a contractor. Contractors can help with installing walk-in showers, widening doorways, or building an addition.
Things to Consider for Those Already Aging at Home
You may have already settled nicely into retirement at home. If that be the case, there are still things you can do to optimize your safety and comfort as you continue along your retirement journey.
One of the most important things to do continually is to communicate with family and friends who are helping you stay at home. It may be as simple as asking your neighbor to pick up a carton of milk on their next grocery visit for you. Keeping the lines of communication open and making your needs known can make things much easier for you.
Technology has also come a long way in helping seniors in their homes. From emergency call buttons to web cameras, to voice recognition software, there are a ton of options out there to help you live safely at home.
Finally, you should know that there are many local community resources that can help you with everyday tasks such as meal prep and housekeeping.
A Program Built for Aging at Home
At Senior LIFE, our main goal is to keep seniors living at home and out of a nursing home for as long as possible. We focus on coordinating our members medical and supportive care services. The care they receive is tailor specifically to each individual member. What is even more impressive is that, for 99% of Senior LIFE Members, there are no out of pocket costs, no cost to enroll, no co-pays and no deductibles for those on Medicaid who live in the community. Not sure if you qualify for Medicaid? We can also help
To Find out more about Senior LIFE, contact the location nearest to you.