Aging in place is a common goal amongst Americans 50 and older. The prospect of spending your golden years and beyond in the comfort of your home sounds ideal to many, but making that dream a reality presents a far greater challenge.
AARP conducted a survey on aging at home and found that “While 76% of Americans age 50 and older say they prefer to remain in their current residence and 77% would like to live in their community as long as possible, just 59% anticipate they will be able to stay in their community, either in their current home (46%) or a different home still within their community (13%). “ This statistic perfectly encapsulates the challenge that Americans face. People want to age in place, but either do not know how or are not confident in their ability to do so.
Luckily for those who are serious about remaining in their home, there are resources available to help make this goal possible. We have compiled statistics, advice, and considerations to help those who are looking to age in place do so safely and comfortably.
Things to Consider When Planning to Age In Place
When planning to age in place, it is crucial to consider every facet of life. This includes transportation, food, household chores, social activities, and even money management. Having a plan that addresses these variables is essential for those who are looking to age in place safely and happily.
Transportation When Aging In Place
Transportation is an important consideration for those who want to aim in place. While driving might be a solution for now, should the day come that they can no longer safely operate a motor vehicle, an alternative mode of transportation must be available. This might take a variety of forms. It might be a loved one or a neighbor. It might be a form of public transportation like a bus; certain buses might even offer specialized services for the elderly, bringing them right to their front door. Other options include services like Uber or Lyft. It is essential to explore options specific to their locale to ensure that they’ve found the optimal solution.
Food/Groceries for Those Aging in Place
Another challenge facing those aging in place can be consuming nutritious, wholesome meals on a regular basis. Getting their own groceries is not always a viable option for those aging in place, and cooking can be a challenge. They could have groceries or ready-to-eat meals dropped off by a loved one or could utilize grocery delivery services. There are also services that will bring hot, ready-to-eat meals to your door. If they are tired of eating alone, identify local settings where they can dine with others, whether a local church or senior center. The ideal solution will likely be some combination of the options noted above.
Household Chore Help For Those Aging In Place
As people age, household tasks will present a greater and greater challenge. Securing help in maintaining their home is vital to help ensure that they can continue to live the qualify of life for which they strive. Utilize local lawn care services, housekeepers, and other services to relieve the burden of these tasks.
Finance Management For Those Aging In Place
Managing finances can also become a more significant challenge. It is crucial to secure trustworthy help with this task. Ask a loved one or find a trustworthy finance counselor or geriatric care manager for assistance. While the help might not be needed at the moment, it might be a valuable resource for the future.
Modifications For a Safer Home
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 36 million adults over the age of 65 fall each year, resulting in more than 32,000 deaths. Creating a safe and accessible home is essential for those who wish to age in place. Many different home modifications can help create a safer living environment for those who want to age in place. Some options include:
- Stair Climbers
- Easily accessible furniture
- Remove Falling Hazards
- Walk-in tubs
- Non-slip flooring
The ideal combination of safety modifications will vary depending on both the individual and the home in question. It is important to spend serious time evaluating potential dangers within the home and finding optimal solutions to make for a safer and more accessible home.
Technology For Aging In Place
Technology is a valuable asset for those looking to age in place and should be utilized wherever possible. There are countless forms of technology that can make aging in place safer and easier. Investing in a smart home is an excellent option; they can be equipped to handle lights, the thermostat, door locks, and more, all from a cellular device or tablet. While learning to utilize this technology can be a challenge, it will prove well worth it in the long run.
Medical alert systems are another essential form of technology for those aging in place alone. Emergency response systems can provide a major sense of security for a person living alone, as they know that they can contact help whenever needed.
Resources For Those Aging In Place
We hope the information provided above helps you or your loved one prepare and feel confident as you age in place. For those seeking more information, there are numerous additional resources available. These resources can offer valuable information and insight on how to age in place safely and happily. A few of the resources available are linked below.