As they get older, most people want to remain in their home for as long as they can. This is often referred to as aging in place. While moving to housing or a facility where more support is available may ultimately be the best choice for some, others will be able to stay at home for the rest of their lives. The considerations below can make that possible.
Consider Your Needs
There are a number of questions you should ask yourself. Your answers to these questions don’t necessarily mean that aging in place isn’t right for you, but it does mean that you may need to make adjustments. Think about where you live and what kind of support you have. It might be more difficult to continue living in a rural area far from town.
On the other hand, if you have plenty of neighbors and family nearby, you may be in a better position than someone in a city who is more isolated. Consider safety and how you would contact someone if you had a medical emergency. You should also look at your financial situation. Finally, your health should be a major consideration, but if you have certain limitations, that doesn’t necessarily mean aging in place is out of the question.
Don’t make the mistake of automatically thinking that the design of your home means you can’t stay there. There are many different modifications that can be made if you have mobility issues or other concerns. Some are simple, such as removing or securing throw rugs so that they don’t slip underfoot or adding lighting so that you can see more easily. If you are in a wheelchair, you may be able to have a ramp added to the front of the house.
Even if your house has more than one story, there may be a solution. There are Lifton home lifts that can be installed in most types of multi-story houses, and they can allow you to move from one floor to the next with ease. You may also need to widen interior doorways to allow room for a chair. Guard rails in the bathroom can make that room safer, and your kitchen can be rearranged so that everything you use regularly is easy to reach.
You may be able to remain at home even if you have trouble with things such as preparing meals or doing household chores. There may be agencies in the area that you use that specifically provide these services for seniors. Devices can help you remember when to take your medication, and you can also get a device that will alert family members or emergency services if you fall or have another medical issue.
Having a social outlet is another important consideration. Facilities and housing for seniors often provide such outlets, but you can create them in your current community as well. There might be a senior center nearby offering opportunities to meet others. Volunteer work or regular attendance at your place of worship are other good ways to build and strengthen relationships with others.