To many, Aging in Place may mean staying in your own home. For others, it may mean where you plan on going or where you are right now, which may be assisted living or independent retirement community.
You may not need any assistance now, but it is important that you start planning for the future if you wish to age in place. You may need to make some physical changes to your home to assist as you age. Safety will be important as you age, and planning for changes to your day-to-day life is crucial. Some of these changes you will need to consider include:
- Installation of safety features such as hand bars in the shower or around the toilet
- Will you need to have an emergency alert system if you will be living alone?
- Daily Care
- Will someone be taking care of you at your home?
- Will you need to hire someone to cook, clean, and/or run other errands for you?
- Who will do the grocery shopping if you no longer can drive?
- Will you need a ramp to the entrance doorway?
- Think about costs. Is it better to move where you can have assistance and be around others or more cost effective to stay at home?
You will have to make sure the doorways and halls are wide enough in your current home to accommodate a walker or wheelchair. Avoiding throw rugs and other potential tripping hazards is also integral to improving the safety of your home as you age. There are many volunteer services that can provide for errands, transportation to the store, or elder care concierge services. Some will even pay your bill for you, shop, sell the car, and so much more for a fee.
If you need further advice, there are a wide variety of Aging in Place Professionals that can help! Geriatric Care Managers, for example, are specially trained professionals who help you form a plan for aging in place. There are also Elder Law Attorneys that can guide you, protect your hard-earned money, and make sure you have all the directives in place in case you are unable to make decisions for yourself.