Most people want to avoid moving to an assisted living facility or nursing home, so sometimes it is best to think ahead about just where you do want to go or even if you want to remain right where your are, according to US News & World Report in “Tips to Help You Age in Place.”
Among the options for seniors are moving to small houses located in the backyard of their adult children’s home or small studio apartments in buildings with common living rooms and kitchens.
While planning for your future, here are a few things to consider:
Physical safety. If you can’t manage the stairs anymore or if there’s no bathroom on your bedroom level, perhaps you should consider changing your situation.
Neighborhood. Do you love your community? If you have access to your friends, family and good medical care, that’s a good reason to stay in the vicinity.
Support Network. If you were to need assistance for a short period of time or in an emergency, are there people near you who can check on you on a regular basis or arrive quickly in a life-threatening situation?
Cost of Living. Sometimes this factor overrides many others. If you can afford to live in your own home and cover all your expenses, then staying in your home is an option. Remember, as you age you’ll need different services, and not all will be covered by Medicare or Social Security.
Even if you’ve got all these factors covered, you may still need to make changes to your home to make it safer and more comfortable. For instance, if you can’t reach items in cabinets, then move anything you use to a lower cabinet. If arthritis has made reaching for things difficult, then install grab bars and floor treads to avoid falling in slippery bathrooms. If you have a sunken living room, then install a ramp with a handrail so you can continue to use the room but can enter and exit safely.
Embrace technology, which makes keeping in touch with loved ones easy. Don’t be put off by the idea of a medical alert button, so help can be summoned quickly. Consider installing a video camera in a frequently-used area of your home, so a loved one can get a visual check on you every now and then.
Look to the future and consider your options.
Reference: US News & World Report (April 27, 2018) “Tips to Help You Age in Place”