The Savvy Senior’s Strategy for Aging in Place

Most seniors want to age at home. Forbes Health states that 92% of older adults want to stay at home.  Through thoughtful planning, discussions with family, and active research into available resources, aging in place at home can be an attainable option.

Is there a formula to successfully age in place? For those who want to stay in their own home safely, the strategy must include a solid aging plan with three core components. Whether your aging loved one lives alone or in a multi-generational home, this strategy can be a game-changer.

aging in place

3 Step Formula for Success  

  1. Home care
  2. Home modifications
  3. Assistive technology

 1. Accepting help in the home is key to success.

We all want to be independent. For an older adult, they can’t remember a time when they needed help with the basic tasks of life such as bathing, grooming, and dressing. Often, they don’t view themselves as needing help so they refuse services that can reduce the risk of injury. However, for this strategy to work, accepting help in the home is non-negotiable.

A significant aspect of aging safely is the willingness to be proactive. The senior and family that identifies challenges and addresses them early is most likely to avoid significant issues later. Unsteadiness comes before a stumble and a stumble comes before a fall. Why wouldn’t we want to address the unsteadiness instead of recovering from the injuries of a fall?

What is Home Care?

Home care can provide a variety of non-medical caregiving and assistance in the home. From meal preparation to light housekeeping to hands-on help with bathing, grooming, and dressing, a home caregiver is a significant factor in successfully aging at home. Whether your aging parent is living at home alone or is living with you, a private caregiver that focuses on the specific needs of the senior is a proactive step. Ultimately, the caregiver can be the difference between staying at home and moving to senior living.

Strategic Services for Success

Meal preparation

Activities of daily living

Transportation

Companionship

Seniors can get exhausted with the basic tasks of daily life. Even the process of preparing meals can become too much, resulting in skipped meals and poor food choices. Good nutrition is foundational for healthy living. Simply getting help with meal preparation can make a difference for the senior set on staying at home.

2. Plan for home modifications for aging in place.

We all want our forever home. And aging loved ones are no different. As needs change, the home will need modifications – no question. Some home modifications are simple and inexpensive while larger projects can take time and money. By making the smaller changes early and easing into the expense of larger projects, you can continue to monitor the value of staying at home compared to senior living and adjust your aging plan accordingly.

aging in place

Common Home Modifications

Grab bars

Widen doors

Ramps

Curbless shower

Walk-in tub

Stairlift

Rearranging furniture and removing trip hazards such as throw rugs are a proactive start to making a home senior-friendly. From easy-grip knobs and pulls to adjustable hand-held shower heads, it's easy to add inexpensive conveniences into the home without breaking the bank. When it comes time to reimagine the floorplan of a two-story home to main floor living, it’s no secret – be sure to review the aging plan for financial feasibility.

How Do I Pay for Home Modifications?

The costs of creating a home for aging in place can vary greatly. Home modifications that involve structural changes such as an accessible kitchen or relocating a primary suite to a ground floor will be expensive. The savvy senior and their family have considered the cost of these renovations in their aging plan and are prepared to pay for reasonable home renovations.

Paying for Home Modifications

Home Equity Line of Credit

Home equity loan

Personal loan

If you are worried about home modifications affecting property value, keep the changes fashionable. Homeowners are looking for over-sized curbless showers, remote-controlled window shades, and other stylish changes. Consult with designers that can help you create modifications that appeal to all ages rather than scream “age in place.”

3. Assistive technology is a smart solution for aging in place.

Smart systems are here to stay and families with aging parents can reap the benefits! In addition to home modifications like remote-controlled window shades and home security systems, non-permanent assistive technology helps families stay connected in a way that can significantly extend an aging parent’s stay at home. These assistive devices round out a strong strategy to assist a senior in aging in place safely at home.

Assistive Technology for Seniors

Hero Health pill minder

Zoom, Skype

Alexa

Google Home

Whether you live across the country, across town, or in the same home as an aging parent, assistive technology can help you keep an eye on the home front without compromising dignity or PTO time. You can monitor home temperatures, who’s at the front door, and what groceries are in the fridge with a tap on an app.

It’s time to make friends with all the devices. Sure, Alexa may be eavesdropping on all your conversations but she’s paying attention when your loved one says, “Alexa, call my daughter” if there is an emergency. Take away the distance between (great)grandparents and their offspring with Zoom calls and smart digital photo frames.

aging in place

Plan and Prepare for Aging at Home 

This three-step strategy isn’t a sure thing for all seniors. For example, resources will be more available in an urban area where a rural area may be sparse in support. Above all, this strategy works best with the proper preparation provided in an aging plan. It is never too early to start creating a plan that keeps you in your home with the assistance of home care, home modifications, and assistive technology.

For more information on how private duty home care is helping seniors age in place, contact Champion Home Health Care in Brevard County, Florida. Learn more about Private Duty Home Care and the Resources We Love in the Resources Section of our Blog.

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