Choosing to Age in Place or in Plan English Stay in Your Current Home as You Age

Most seniors that I talk to tell me they plan to stay in their home.  They have no interest in moving into an assisted living community or a 55+ independent living community.  The most common reason I hear is the high cost and fees that you pay at these new communities.  I personally believe, if you are happy in your home, can afford the cost of maintenance and everyday operating cost, staying in your home is a good choice.  However, the number one priority when thinking about housing in your senior years is…..Are you Safe?

There are many health issues that come with age.  Sometimes these issues affect our mobility.  Sometimes it’s our thought process.  We ain’t as quick as we used to be.  We don’t have the strength or stamina we used to have.  In your current home can you still climb the stairs to get to your only bathroom on the second floor?  Is it easy for you to get in the tub or shower?  Does your tub or shower have safety bars?  Can you navigate your home easily if you have a walker or wheel chair?  How easy is it to get in and out of your home?  Do you have the ability to do the cooking, cleaning and maintenance?  In order to take care of yourself and stay in your current home, you should be able to navigate your home and do these tasks.  Now don’t get upset just yet.  I’m not telling you that you can’t stay in your home.  In fact, I really love when it works and people don’t have to be uprooted when they don’t want to move.  It’s tough enough getting old.  Adding a major move can be scary and stressful.  So let’s take a look at options.

If there are some aspects of living in your current home that make it difficult to take care of yourself, all is not lost.  You may be able to make modifications to your home.  You can get a chair lift.  You can modify the bathroom so it’s easier and safer to get in and out of the tub or shower.  You may make navigating your home easier just by moving the furniture.  And there is outside help available.   In today’s world there are many agencies that can provide the support you need to safely remain in your home.  There are cleaning services, lawn services, driving services, in home assistance service and in home health care services.   For meals there are many good frozen dinners that you pop in the microwave and there are meal delivery services.   All of these things will have a cost.  If you are committed to staying in your home do your homework.  Make a list of what you need to live safely and more comfortably in your current home.  Then make some phone calls, go online and find the services you need.  See if you qualify for financial assistance.  Get estimates, and decide what will work for you and your budget.  Even if you aren’t at the point where you need these services, it’s a good idea to do the research and plan for future needs.

I would like to add one more consideration in your planning process.  How is your neighborhood?  Neighborhoods change over time.  Maybe you used to be able to call the neighbor for help.  Everyone looked out for each other.   Now those neighbors are gone.   It’s a good idea to have someone nearby if you need them.  Are there any neighbors or family members nearby that you can call on for help when needed?  Now….One final question.  What about the external safety of your home.  I know you love your home but has crime in your area risen?   It’s sad but many really nice neighborhoods have deteriorated.  If there is a high crime rate in your neighborhood, you may not be safe in your home.  You may not be able to protect yourself like you could in your younger days.  And sadly elders can be targeted as easy prey.  As I said, the number one priority is being Safe!

Sooooo, All things considered, Can you live in your current home and be safe?  current home article

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