A recent national poll on healthy aging has found that the majority of adults over 50 want to live in their own homes as long as possible but haven’t taken steps to age in place. Staying in your own home as you age provides a lot of comfort. It allows you to stay where you are familiar and keep much of your independence.
In order to do this however, several important steps need to be taken. Modifications need to be done to the home to make it friendly for aging adults, including things like adding railings and other safety features. Funding for a caregiver should also be established.
How to prepare for aging in place
If you know you want to age in your own home, it starts with making sure that the home you are in right now is the one you want to live in as you age. Climbing u and down stairs as you get older gets more dangerous. Many older people opt to age in place in a home that is smaller than when they raised their family or they have the main bedroom and bathroom on the main floor.
In the poll, only 34% of over adults said their home definitely had the necessary features to allow aging in place.
Taking the time to look at your home and making the changes you need for your comfort later in life can make a big difference in your experience.
Looking at community options
Your community is as unique as you are. Inside your community is a wealth of options to help older people. Poll director Preeti Malani recommends looking at these options to help you.
"Taking steps to understand what's available in the community, through the national Eldercare Locator, the Area Agency on Aging that serves your region, nonprofit organizations and other sources could help older adults be more prepared,” she said.
"Family members can help encourage older adults to find out what's available, to invest in home improvements, and to aid them in installing safety devices and technologies that can help keep them aging in place. Think of it as a positive investment toward current safety and future independence -- that can help older adults get past the temptation to put it off for another day."
Take the time now to see what is available in terms of caregiving, what financial aid is available, and what other services may be of benefit to you. Tell your family what your plans are, so that they can help support you in your goals.
Aging in place is a life goal for most people over the age of 50. By preparing for it, you can enjoy more of your time without worrying about the future. As an added benefit, you can ease any concerns your family members have about your desire to be in your own home.
Polls show that many aging Americans aren’t prepared to follow their dreams in regards to aging in place. If you’re one of those Americans, start making changes now to help you get the most out of your golden years.
For information on how we can help your aging loved one age safely and comfortably in their home, contact the professional caregivers at Homewatch CareGivers of Annapolis today. Here, home care is human.