Have you decided you want to skip the retirement community or nursing home and stay at home for as long as possible? If so, you’re one of a vast majority of seniors who would much prefer to “age in place.” Discover actionable steps to help ensure a happy and safe future at home with these 5 Tips to Help You Age in Place written by my friends at California Mobility.
It sounds simple enough to just stay at home. But, of course, there are potential practical, emotional, and financial issues to overcome. Thankfully, I’ve got some tips to share to help you. Let’s jump in!
1. Seek Advice From Your Doctor and Family Members
Although you might not want to hear it, medical professionals and family members can offer sound advice when it comes to staying in your own home. We’re often unaware of our own limits, so listening to different opinions can help you have a safer and more enjoyable future at home.
Talk to your doctor about how your health might affect your independence and whether staying at home is a viable option in the long-term. Ask family members if they’re willing to support you in the decision to stay at home because chances are, you’ll need their help at some point down the road.
2. Consider All the Logistics of Staying At Home
Aging in place often sounds simple in theory, but as we get older, our needs change. Things like navigating stairs, keeping on top of cleaning, driving a car, and even walking a short distance to the shops, could soon become an issue.
Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself:
- Will you need help in the form of a cleaner, meal service, or health aide (tip 6)?
- Will you need to make modifications to your home to help you live more independently and comfortably?
- Are there amenities nearby that you’ll be able to access?
- Will you have access to transportation if needed?
Bear in mind; this process shouldn’t put you off staying at home, but rather encourage you to explore the realities of aging in place.
3. Understand the Costs Involved
When you consider that the average cost of nursing home care tops $90,000 per year, staying at home seems like it would be a very inexpensive alternative. But just to be sure, you should do a full cost assessment of aging in place. This way, you’ll be able to budget accordingly and avoid any unexpected bills.
A good place to start is to look at your answers to the questions in the previous section. Things like home modifications and in-home care can be large expenses. And don’t forget that smaller expenses can add up too. Minor home modifications, transportation costs, and cleaning services are just a few things to take into account.
Many providers of home mobility solutions will provide free assessments, so you could get exact quotes for things like stairlifts, walk-in tubs, and other major renovations. You may even want to price out some new technology options, such as motion sensors and smart home devices.
4. Try Tackling the Small Tasks First
If you do find you need to make a lot of adjustments to prepare for staying at home, it can help psychologically to tackle some of the small tasks first. For example, the Department of Health and Human Services has some excellent ideas for small modifications you can make to ensure your home is as safe as possible.
Here are some of the suggestions:
- Remove area rugs that create tripping hazards and check that all carpets are securely fitted.
- Consider replacing any handles and faucets with models that are easier to use.
- Install grab bars in the bathrooms, and anywhere else they may come in handy.
- Add non-skid mats or no-slip strips to floors that could become hazardous when wet.
These are just a few suggestions, but you and your home are unique, so you may need additional modifications to make your home as comfortable as possible.
5. Work on Fostering a Support Community
One of the biggest challenges of aging in place can be the emotional strain. If you become less independent, it’s easy for feelings of loneliness and isolation to set in. It’s important to prepare yourself by ensuring you have a solid support network of family, friends, and community members.
Seniors fear loneliness more than they fear death.Seniors fear loneliness more than they fear death. Click To Tweet
You can start by enlisting some help in doing some research in your local area. Many communities have special activities and events just for seniors. Do you know someone else in a similar situation? Perhaps agree to call each other regularly or stop by each other’s homes once a week.
Aging in place isn’t always as simple as it sounds. But if you prepare yourself by following the tips above, you should be well-equipped for a happy and independent life at home. Do you have any tips for aging in place to share? Let me know in the comments section below!
Want More Articles Like This? Check These Out:
Here are 5 chair exercises for seniors: https://tandyelisala.com/chair-workout-5-safe-exercises-for-seniors/
Here are 6 ways to help seniors be independent (even if they live with you): https://tandyelisala.com/6-ways-to-help-seniors-be-independent/
Here are important questions to ask BEFORE surgery: https://tandyelisala.com/19-important-questions-to-ask-before-surgery/
Here’s an article by California Mobility on the ultimate guide to choosing a stairlift by https://californiamobility.com/ultimate-guide-to-buying-a-stairlift/
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