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March 04, 2024

8 Things to Consider if You Want to Age in Place: Guide to Aging in Place

Did you know that around 88% of older adults aged 50 to 80 believe it is important to remain in their homes as long as possible [1]?

According to Forbes Health [2], the top reasons older adults in the U.S. wish to stay in their homes include a desire to be independent and maintain control of personal space, feeling confident in their mental health, and ability to take care of themselves.


However, only a handful of this population who want to stay home as they age eventually achieve their aim. This is because the majority of older adults and their loved ones fail to understand the requirements of aging in place. 

so, first...


What is Aging in Place?

Aging in place is the concept that you can stay in your home for as long as you want as you get older instead of moving to an assisted living facility or nursing care home. 


When you choose to age in place, you're choosing independence, autonomy, comfort, privacy, peace of mind, and an overall high quality of life.


Aging in place allows you to age on your own terms. You're always in control of your health,  finances, in-home care, etc. However, a great deal of consideration must be done early to achieve these things. We'll look at those considerations below.


What to Consider if You or Your Beloved Senior Wants to Age at Home

Are you looking for the right steps to aging in place? Below are some factors to consider for you or your aging parents to age successfully at home.


1. Start Today

Many seniors struggling with aging in place today thought they still had time while they were much younger. The truth is that there's no better time to make a plan for aging in place than right now when the healthcare and senior care needs have not yet kicked in.


By planning early, you can create a personalized preparation, prepare financially, find the right aging-in-place company that meets your needs, and increase your chances of utmost independence and control. Start early. Start today.


2. Assess Your Current and Future Needs

Start by evaluating your current health, mobility, and support needs. Consider any chronic health conditions, potential future care requirements, and the level of assistance you may need with daily activities. This self-assessment will help you determine what modifications and support systems will be necessary.


3. Home Modifications

Growing older at home means that you may not be able to access things in your home that you used to. Some examples are accessing the kitchen cabinets, bathroom, countertops, etc. Home modifications require careful consideration as improper modification can hinder the activities of daily living (ADLs).


Some home modifications to consider are:

  • Walk-in or roll-in shower with grab bars and a built-in bench or seat
  • Walk-in bathtub or a low-threshold bathtub
  • Non-slip flooring or mats in the bathroom
  • Wide doorways in case you use a wheelchair
  • Raised toilet seat or a toilet with adjustable height
  • Adequate lighting throughout the home, especially in hallways, staircases, and entrances
  • Motion sensor lights or nightlights to improve visibility in dimly lit areas
  • Task lighting in key areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, and reading nooks to assist with specific activities.
  • Adjustable or varied height countertops
  • Pull-out or adjustable shelves and drawers
  • Lever-style faucets
  • Non-slip floor surfaces, such as hardwood, laminate, or slip-resistant tiles
  • Home monitoring or alert system that allows for quick assistance in case of accidents or medical emergencies.
  • Smart home technologies that enable remote control of lighting, temperature, and security features for convenience and safety.

4. Financial Planning

While aging in place may be more cost-effective than moving to a retirement or assisted living facility [3], especially for older adults who appreciate the idea of independent living, the expenses of aging in place and the cost of care still need to be considered.


To make modifications to your home, enjoy optimal home care, assistive devices and equipment, healthcare and medical expenses, support services and amenities, etc., you must plan your finances early on. 

Do you have Medicare or any other insurance policies to support you as you age? Do you have any reliable source of income or support? Who makes financial decisions for you when you can't?


5. Consider Your Health Needs

Your ability to age in place safely depends on how early you start to plan for home health care. While it's vital to start planning for aging in place before you start needing a caregiver, you must also plan for certain health conditions that may creep up as you age.


Start by assessing your current health status. You need to consider any existing medical conditions, chronic illnesses, or disabilities that may require ongoing management or long-term care. This will help you and the aging-in-place company determine the best way to personalize your care plan.


6. Your Social Needs

One crucial benefit of aging in place is that it allows you to stay in the same neighborhood while enjoying the warmth of friends and loved ones and receiving the support you need. However, you may still run a risk of loneliness and isolation. 


What's your plan for making new friends and maintaining a healthy social life? Staying socially active helps older adults with mental and emotional well-being, cognitive stimulation, physical well-being, and a sense of purpose and belonging. It is a crucial part of senior living.


7. Transportation Services

Aging in place gives you the freedom to leave the house at will. However, this comes with the issue of transportation. How do you visit the doctor for professional help, visit family and loved ones, or go for a rewarding adult day out?


Do you stay in an area where you can easily access public transportation? Are ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft accessible to you? You must consider how to move around when it becomes difficult for you to drive.


8. Financial and Medical Powers of Attorney (POW)

Financial and medical powers of attorney are legal documents that grant authority to someone else to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf when you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself.


This person could be a family member or an experienced care coordinator who has your best interest at heart. Many seniors fall into the trap of believing that their children will handle this hulking task for them but fail to realize that it is challenging to care for aging parents.


Work with an attorney to help you set up your POW documents and choose the right person you can count on.


Join an Aging in Place Community That Cares; Kendal At Home

While many adults want to stay at home and say they want the independence, comfort, and peace of mind it comes with, not everyone eventually achieves this dream. This is usually due to a lack of planning and working with incompetent communities.

At Kendal At Home, we help seniors fulfill their wishes of staying in their homes with the right support needed to lead a beautiful senior life. We help you stay healthy, cared for, and safe in your own home by offering you the following:

You are welcome to speak with us today to learn more about how we can help you secure your future and lead the best senior life possible. 

Healthy aging is hard on your own. Kendal at Home can help you age well and enjoy your retirement.

Register for a Seminar to Learn More


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