For older adults who prefer to age in place, making safety modifications to their home or downsizing to a residence that requires less maintenance and features fewer mobility barriers can be a crucial decision. Aging in place successfully requires careful planning, and oftentimes, a caregiver, social support system and consideration of potential future health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes and cognitive decline.
The following statistics and facts may be helpful to consider if you or a loved one wish to age in place and can help inform decisions surrounding home modifications and lifestyle choices.
Interesting Aging in Place Facts
Aging in place requires careful planning, including decisions about additional help in the home and in-home health care, with safety, mobility and daily activities in mind.
People who age in place may need help with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, eating, dressing, using the toilet or moving from a bed to a chair. This care can be provided by paid caregivers and/or family members.
Many local resources exist for older adults living in urban areas, including physicians, hospitals, in-home care and help with home maintenance and transportation.
People living in rural areas may have fewer local options to help them age in place due to their remote location.
When planning to age in place, individuals should consider any chronic conditions they or a spouse may have, such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, to understand and plan for necessary health care needs.
People planning to age in place should discuss their plans with family members, friends and caregivers to help anticipate future care needs that may arise. It may be necessary to revisit and revise these plans as a person’s needs change over time.
In-home safety measures to help older adults age in place can include purchasing an emergency medical alert system, repairing or installing stair rails, removing tripping hazards such as throw rugs, adding grab rails near the toilet and in the shower or bathtub and placing night lights near the floor for evening trips to the bathroom.
A geriatric care manager can help assess an individual’s current and future needs and provide advice for aging in place.
Local Area Agencies on Aging can help older adults learn about city, state and federal resources that are available within their community, such as in-home care agencies, financial aid for home renovations, transportation and volunteers to help with home maintenance and meal preparation.
Downsizing to a smaller home with a single-level floor plan can help individuals looking to age in place save money to pay for in-home care, home maintenance or safety modifications and other needs that may arise.
Considering an area’s access to primary care physicians and hospitals, as well as shopping centers, community and social activities, religious organizations and friends and family is important for adults looking to age in their home.
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