The Aging in place market is characterized by the needs and wants that develop from how people age. While no one can escape the effects of aging, everyone ages differently based on their genetic make-up, lifestyle, and environment. Aging in place is the ability to live in your home or community of choice as long as you can with the services and support you need over time. Older adults and their family members should plan for aging in place in advance, preferably prior to retirement.
For older adults, this advanced planning allows them to make choices, remain in control and independent. It also helps them avoid feeling like they are a burden to their family because they are able to make the needed changes they believe will be necessary without involving family. For example, hire an occupational therapist to conduct a home assessment to determine what changes are or will be needed to make the home safer during the normal aging process.
✓ Take charge of your life now so your children will not have to decide for you, as your aging needs change. Have that long awaited talk about making known to your family what your plans and needs are for aging place. Talk with family members about your long-term living preferences. Do you want to downsize to a smaller home or condo, or do you plan to stay put in your traditional family home?
✓ Consider what type of support you will need in the future and perhaps now with caring for yourself, or a loved one with a chronic disease.
✓ Take time while you are active to research in-home care and companions. This is a common senior service that helps many seniors stay in their homes.
✓ Consult with a Geriatric Manager to seek guidance in selecting and coordinating senior housing options, long-term care, and other related services.
✓ Take a look at your finances and retirement funds. With your current savings and assets, will you be able to pay for home maintenance? Consider starting a separate retirement savings account strictly for home maintenance.
✓ Sometimes as we age driving becomes difficult and it is good to have a backup plan for transportation and this is also a service that an in-home caregiver or companion can provide.
✓ Remodel your home before your mobility becomes limited. As you age, changes in mobility, hearing, vision and overall health and flexibility will affect how easily you function in your home. Consider making your home “age-friendly” as a phased-in and budgeted home improvement, rather than waiting until you need many modifications at a time due to a health crisis.