The concept of “aging in place” has gained popularity among seniors who need help with everyday activities, but want to stay in their own homes. If this describes your loved one, you may have questions about how the arrangement will work.
Review these considerations when deciding whether aging in place can meet the needs of your parent or family member.
Home safety and equipment
Help your loved one prepare the home for his or her needs. For example, install grab bars in the shower and tub. Anchor loose rugs to the floor and add non-skid tape to prevent falls. Make the front entry as accessible as possible with a ramp. Place handles, light switches and other necessary items within easy reach.
Travel and errands
Can your family member safely get around town? If not, consider a service that can run errands and deliver groceries. Many seniors depend on rideshares such as Uber and Lyft, or a good old-fashioned taxi if available. The local senior center might also offer transportation to destinations like the mall and library.
If your family member does not already have an advance directive, this legal document details his or her wishes for medical care in the case of physical or mental incapacity. But what happens if your loved one gets hurt at home? A medical alert or ID bracelet might make sense for his or her situation. Even if your loved one does not need intensive nursing care, a home health aide can provide companionship and dispense medications.
These are just a few of the many factors that influence the decision to age in place. Start the conversation with your family members to begin the planning process.