Should You Age in Place? A Senior’s Guide to Deciding
While assisted living centers are necessary or ideal for many seniors, they are no longer the de facto option for everyone above a certain age. Many older men and women have found that, with the proper home-accessibility modifications, it is actually more cost-effective and pleasant for them to reside in the home they are familiar with and emotionally connected to.
It’s called “aging in place,” and here are some things to ask yourself before committing to it.
Is my current home appropriately sized?
The home that worked best for you and your family decades ago may not be the best fit for you anymore. People have moved away. Maybe your spouse has passed on. You may have extraneous rooms, ignored outdoor space, split floors, or other physical features that may cause you grief as you age, so you may want to consider downsizing to something more manageable for someone in their retirement age. If you are looking for accessible homes in Elmhurst, IL, it behooves you to review price listings in your area to get an idea of what it might cost to buy yourself a new home. If you own your current home, compare those numbers to what you could potentially make from selling your current home. If the numbers line up favorably, it may make sense to downsize your home. One good option may be a retirement community where you can still live independently but in close proximity to other people in the same phase of life.
What types of physical accessibility modifications might I need?
As we age, our bodies and minds change. That impacts how we do things on a daily basis. Everyone is different, but some of the typical issues faced by older people include reduced vision or hearing, decreased muscle strength and balance issues, and slower mental processing. Many of these can be overcome with home modifications. These can include installing handrails throughout the home, replacing a bathtub with a walk-in shower with pull-down seat, and replacing any slick or uneven flooring with something even and slip-resistant.
USA Today notes that technological gadgets are also helping those who decide to live independently as they age. Medicine dispensers with built-in alarms or reminders can help make sure people take their prescriptions. Sensors can detect if somebody hasn’t gotten up in a predetermined number of hours, and video systems can allow family members or caretakers to check in virtually on them.
Have I considered the social and mental aspects of aging in place?
One of the things many seniors overlook when choosing between aging in place or moving to a senior-living community is the social aspect. Living independently can be wonderful, but it can also be isolating and lonely. You should consider where your social stimulation will come from. Do you have family or friends who will visit you regularly? Is it realistic that you will make it to your nearby senior center or library for classes, meetups, or social outings? Staying social is good for the mind and body, so don’t compromise it just because you believe you want to age in place. If mobility is an issue and you don’t have a robust social network, there are volunteer and paid services that offer regular check-ins for seniors. Explore those options and make staying social a priority.
Only you can decide what living arrangement is ideal for you. If you decide to age in place at your current home or in a downsized home, know that independent living is possible with the right planning and modifications.
Article Published by Claire Wentz worker at Caring from A Far
Claire can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org