Aging in Place: Planning and Resources

Are you getting older or have loved ones who are aging? Planning can be difficult.  You never know how your needs will evolve and change. Is downsizing an option? How about living with a relative? Will you stay in your home?  

The goal of staying in your home or living in the residence of your choice for as long as possible is shared by many aging adults.  This conscious decision is called “aging in place.”  Aging in place also involves having the support you need as you age and your needs change.  

The impacts of aging 

Everyone is affected and changes as they grow older. Some changes might include poorer eyesight, reduced muscle mass, increased risk of accidents, as well as decreased mobility and agility. While these changes are most likely inevitable, it does not mean that it is guaranteed to happen, but planning for these possible changes can help you be better prepared for any upcoming challenges while aging in place. Keep in mind that aging does not create the same experience for everyone.  It might be hard to anticipate what your needs will be in the future. However, creating a general plan and then tweaking it as you grow older is a great first step.

Creating an aging in place plan

Think about your home.  Your home might require some changes before it is ready for you to spend your golden years there. You might want to consider redesigning your existing home to allow for easier accessibility, or moving to a small home with no stairs or yard. There are a variety of aging in place choices you can make, including independent houses or apartments, individual housing in senior communities, or care homes that provide minimal assistance. 

Consider your personal care needs. If bathing, washing your hair, or getting dressed becomes challenging, you may want to consider getting help from a family member, friend or hire help for a short period during the day.  

Assess your household chores. Keeping up with a home is not easy. Will you need help with housecleaning, yard work, laundry, or errand running? You might want to consider hiring a cleaning and yard service to help you keep your home in order. 

Plan for eating well. Nutrition and meal preparation might become a concern. If you get tired of eating alone or feel like your diet is not well-rounded, you might consider opting for a meal delivery program to bring meals to your home. 

Consider your financial management needs. Paying bills and managing your finances can become more confusing as you age. You might want to consider asking a trusted relative or a financial counselor for assistance.

Anticipate your health care needs. Are you taking medication?  Does your health status require regular doctor visits? You might want to plan to have someone to go with you to your medical appointments if you become unable to drive. 

Aging in place is a choice

The ability to choose where you grow old means you are deciding on:

  • How you want your home to be set up
  • How and where you want to spend your golden years
  • What type of assistance you might need
  • What your wishes are for significant events like sickness, housing, and finances

Making these decisions early can give you more control over your independence and quality of life. Aging in place does not mean that you have to do everything on your own. Instead, it means that you have a plan in place to help ensure that your needs are met. 

For many of us, aging in place is not a distant choice; instead, it is something that you should start to think about to ensure that you maintain a well-rounded lifestyle. Planning early is key to an effective plan, and it is never too early to start. 

SmithLife Homecare is here to assist you with all your needs while you are planning to age in place.  Contact us today so we can discuss how to create a plan that works for you.