One of the most challenging decisions that families face is whether their aging loved one should continue living in their home. You know that for some seniors, living at home and caring for themselves is not possible. But for others such as yourself, you have no problem caring for yourself, your home, and other responsibilities. For you, moving out is not an option. This decision, to stay in your home during your golden years rather than moving into a care home or related facility, is called aging in place. [i]
For those who can, aging in place is a wonderful opportunity. But, there are still several things to consider once you make this decision. No matter how good your health is or how well you take care of yourself, it is necessary to make preparations for the future.
How to Properly Plan for Care
It’s understandable that you want to keep your independence. However, it’s essential to think ahead and plan for times when you might need a little more assistance than usual.
As you age in place, consider hiring a home care worker, especially if you live in a different city than your relatives. A caregiver can be as hands-off as you want him or her to be and will help you stay in your home.
Consider these factors while aging in place. [ii]
- Make your home safe. As you age, you could lose mobility and have trouble getting around your home. Before this happens, asses your home and make any modifications you think will be necessary for the future. Consider your financial needs for these changes. And check for reliable contractors who will make these changes under state and county codes.
- Support for chronic diseases. If you or your partner has a chronic illness, it is vital to think about the necessary assistance you might need in the future.
- Hiring a geriatric care manager. Read our article about why you should hire a geriatric care manager and learn the advantages of having one. These professionals can help you and your family plan your care. In the same vein, preparing for the type of care you need will make aging at home much more relaxed.
- Understand the risks. No one wants to imagine the worst, but a part of aging in place means making a plan in case the worst happens. During this step, it is crucial to have open communication with relatives and other professionals involved in your program.
- Transportation. Giving up driving may feel like giving up a part of your independence. However, as we age, being a safe driver sometimes becomes harder. Having a caregiver will make the transportation question easier to handle when the time comes.
- Give your kids the second “talk.” Now is the time to have a conversation about aging in place with your children. Let them know that you are taking charge of things and planning for the future. Doing so will assure them that you are taking the right measures to care for yourself. Plus, make your needs clear and listen to their concerns. An open dialogue will help alleviate any worries your may children have.
As you age in place, maintaining a healthy social life is imperative. Getting out of the house and interacting with other people your age will help you in more ways than you realize.
One way to cultivate a healthy social life, as well as healthy aging, is joining an age-friendly community. Age-friendly communities focus on meeting the needs of seniors by thinking about the circumstances that affect their well-being. Additionally, these programs can help make it easier for you to age in place by providing helpful resources. [iii]
Massachusetts has multiple age-friendly communities where you can find your niche. For those living in the Boston area, The Age-Friendly Boston project is a program working to create an environment for seniors to live healthy, productive lives.
Visit the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative to learn more about their programs and find out how you can find a community near your home.
How MeetCaregivers Helps
If you choose to age in place and wish to hire a caregiver, MeetCaregivers can help. Our professional services can match you to the right home care worker and as gauge the amount of care needed for you to comfortably age in place.
Not only that, but we have many resources to help you as you continue to age in place. So call or send us an e-mail and we will help you however we can.
For more information, contact MeetCaregivers at 1-888-541-1136 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for more resources about caregivers? Our blog has plenty of information for you to read and learn about the topic. For area events and extra support, Boston’s AARP website is another source for you and your loved one.
[i] LLC, S. (n.d.). What Does it Mean To Age in Place? Retrieved April 29, 2019, from https://www.seniorsresourceguide.com/articles/art01109.html
[iii] Age-Friendly Communities. (n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2019, from https://mahealthyagingcollaborative.org/programs/overview/age-friendly-communities/