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You Can Age in Place but You Need to Plan

Many homeowners plan to stay in their homes over the long-term, and some may plan to live independently at home, rather than moving into a retirement community, if possible.

Aging in place is what most people hope for as they enter their 60s and 70s.  However, to make it a reality, there is a need to plan, according to the article “BBB On Homes: Focus on several things when aging in place,” from LMTonline.com. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define aging in place, as the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably regardless of age, income or ability level.

Changes in health or finances don’t always allow this to happen. Here are four things to keep in mind, when considering whether you or a parent will be able to remain at home:

Safety updates. This generally includes a walk-in shower, safety rails, widened doorways that can accommodate wheelchairs, non-slip flooring, ramps and accessible kitchen drawers and food preparation surfaces.

Getting food and supplies. Food and medication deliveries are crucial to aging in place. What will happen, if you are no longer able to drive? If you depend on local stores for delivery and there is a major weather event, how will you manage? There are some non-profits who deliver but people must be open to the idea of receiving help from others.

Preparing for disasters and emergencies. Living alone makes it difficult to get help immediately after an accident. When time is of the essence, it can be difficult. There are many options, including medical alert systems and home surveillance cameras. However, the person has to be willing to have them. Arranging for a friend or family member to check in daily is good for every day safety.  However, it will not help in an emergency.

You’ll need health care and transportation. If you live in a city or suburb where there is public transportation, you’ll be able to get to your doctor’s appointments. If not, you’ll need to budget for taxi services.

Budgeting. Living on your own means more independence and privacy. It may cost more because certain fixed costs can only be reduced so far. 

If you are considering how to remain at home, make sure to speak with family members, so they are aware of what your wishes are. With their support and if you are financially able to do so, it may make a big difference in the quality of your life.

Reference: LMTonline.com (Aug. 26, 2018) “BBB On Homes: Focus on several things when aging in place”

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