Ideal and Practical Aging in Place

aging in place

There are many success stories from those who have decided aging in place is their preferred lifestyle.  With the proper planning, resources and guidance, aging adults are discovering a vibrant and independent life at home.  This blog will provide valuable information and insights for those wishing to spend their golden years in the comfort of their own home.  

Planning ahead has a direct impact on the ability to achieve optimal aging in place.  It’s never too soon to start contemplating the items listed below to proactively prevent potential crisis that might otherwise impede your ability to successfully age in place.  This is an excellent resource for preparing to live independently as you age.

Legal and estate planning

Meet with an attorney who specializes in estate planning, advance directives and power of attorney for finance and medical concerns.  It’s best to have these details finalized before a physical or cognitive change could hinder your ability to make these decisions for yourself.  This will ensure your wishes are honored, minimize the likelihood of legal proceedings and provide peach of mind to your loved ones.

Financial planning

Aging in place may require financial obligations that you have not considered, such as a private caregiver.  If you live in an assisted living facility, you pay rent which includes some personal care assistance.  If you are living in your own home, you may need to pay out of pocket to have personal care assistance.  You will want to consider strategies for supporting your long term care needs. 

Home assessment

Consider having a professional assess your home to determine if the current layout is conducive to aging in place.  They should complete a safety evaluation to identify possible hazards, review your home’s accessibility including entrances, doorways and bathroom facilities.  The assessment will determine if the layout is practical for aging comfortably.

Home modification

Depending on the results of the home assessment, the professional may recommend home modifications.  This may include grab bars, ramps, a stair lift or a walk-in shower.  Securing the proper modifications ahead of time can reduce the risk of injuries and falls, and the need to move to a care facility.

Technology

Communication tools such as computers, cell phones and smart home technology enable seniors to live independently and remain connected to the outside world.  Secure technology that is easy to understand and use.

Healthcare access

Learn if you have access to home based primary and specialty care in your area.  This may not be needed, but if it becomes difficult for you to leave your home, you want to know what resources are available, so explore home based and virtual options.  In home therapy or exercise support could also be beneficial.   

Regular assessments

Routine assessments by a geriatric or aging life consultant will help you stay on track for vibrant aging.  This evaluation by an objective professional will observe for any changes in your condition and needs.  They will make the appropriate changes to your plan for aging in place when your needs change.  

Social support

Social connections and stable mental health are vital in promoting a fulfilling life.  Social interaction helps maintain cognitive and physical health.  Consider how you will maintain these social connections during the aging process.   

Long term care insurance

Medicare and other major medical insurances usually do not cover in home supplemental care, such as personal care.  Long term care insurance policies do.  If you have a long term care insurance policy, review it in advance to learn the details about your coverage, allowed benefits and the elimination period.

Caregiver support

Have you considered who will provide support to you should you require it?  Do you have family members in the area, or would you need to hire someone to assist?  There are many outside options including hiring a caregiver through a company or privately.  For more information on home care, please read our blog on this topic.

Driving

Driving is an essential activity for many individuals, providing them with independence.  While the loss of driving privileges can be devastating, there is hope, and services are available to provide your transportation needs.  Research the transportation services available in your area should you need to access them.

Resources

Most communities have a vast number of resources to assist you in aging vibrantly.  Aging in place can be a reality with the proper planning and guidance.  Services that you may access include meal delivery, attorneys, care or case managers, 50+ centers, home health care, home care, money managers and support groups.

If aging in place is the path you have chosen, start working with an expert in geriatrics and aging life case management.  They will be able to guide you through this process in a manner that isn’t overwhelming, and they can provide valuable resources to begin addressing the checklist above.  Call Wellness Strategies Group today for your free aging in place consultation.