Aging in Place: What is Aging in Place?
The definition for aging in place is "the ability to live in one's own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably regardless of age, income, or ability." With that definition in mind - have you considered where or how you’ll live as you get older? For most, aging in place at home is their preferred scenario. Not only can aging in place cost less than moving to an assisted living facility or nursing home, it’s also more comfortable. After all, there is no place like home. And with that, comes the freedom to stay near friends and host social events, as well as the ability to maintain a higher level of independence and decision making.
Although it may seem rather simple to remain in your home, in order to make aging in place safer and more convenient, it may be necessary to make adjustments to your daily routine and modifications to your home - and it’s always good to start thinking about it before you need to.
Here are some tips to plan and prepare for aging in place:
Complete an Aging in Place Assessment
In order to decide what option might be best, there are many issues to consider: home functionality, location, safety, services, and affordability.
To help guide you through the decision-making process, we recommend using this free Aging in Place Planning Guide offered by the National Aging in Place Council. Comment below if you find it to be helpful!
Perform a Complete Home Safety Check
Consider getting a professional home safety assessment for recommendations on low-cost modifications for home safety and fall prevention.
Think About Transportation
There may come a point where you can no longer drive or walk to the grocery store, a friend’s house, or to the location of your appointments. For groceries and retail items, many large grocery stores and online retailers offer delivery with the click of a button from their website. As for getting around, consider your access to other transportation options, such as public transit and ride-sharing with neighbors and friends. It is also wise to familiarize yourself with on-demand ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft that can be ordered via your smartphone.
Stay Socially Connected
Social isolation is a major problem for older Americans. Having social connections and being active socially is an important factor in aging well.
Create a list of relatives and friends who can help with errands or take you to a doctor’s appointment. Get comfortable using a smartphone and computer, so you can connect with friends and family online. Technology can assist in maintaining social connections, but it doesn’t replace in-person contact with close friends, relatives, clubs, and faith communities. Maintaining these contacts and establishing new ones will be vital as you age.
Review Your Plan
The plan you put in place may need to change as you age in order to continue working as you go forward. A friend or family member should periodically check the home to see how their loved one is adapting to the changes and assist with revising the plan, as necessary.
Above all, remember that aging in place is a process. You have to work at remaining independent. Start planning now to maintain your independence for the long term!