They say ‘home is where the heart is’, that’s why, as you age, the last thing you want to do is leave. Recently, seniors have opted to age in place; a form of independent care that lets you stay at home for longer.
Ageing in Place means that you can continue to live in the comfort of your own home with some level of independence, rather than in residential care.
This plan is ideal for those seniors who are able to reside in their home safely and comfortably after making the appropriate home modifications and investing in the right mobility and accessibility equipment. The idea is that they’re able to live with some level of independence, whilst also having access to the necessary in-house services that enable them to live comfortably.
But, as dreamy as it sounds, it simply doesn’t work for everyone. So, before you decide to age in place, there are a few things you need to consider.
If you want to age in place you need to think ahead. The stairs may not be an issue now, but in ten years' time, they may become more challenging. It’s important make the appropriate home modifications now, to make your house more liveable in the future.
Modifying your home to make it more accessible and practical, with the installation of handrails along the stairs to the front door, or replacing external stairs with a wheelchair accessible ramp, will combat the inevitable signs of aging, including decreased mobility, decreased vision and reduced strength.
When creating your age in place plan, it’s important to consider all these natural changes now, so when they do arrive you can find comfort in knowing that your home accommodates to all these needs.
Aging in place can only accommodate for what you have already planned for, so you need to plan ahead.
It’s important to be realistic about the support you may need as you age. There are numerous in-house services that can assist with your ageing in place plan, these include meal preparation, house cleaning, personal care and/or nursing. However, there are also a number of tools and equipment that can make ageing in place a little bit easier.
However, as we grow older, some people may require further assistance, such as those with vision loss that renders them unable to complete household tasks. In this instance, it’s important to assess whether you can safely and independently live at home, whilst maintaining the same quality of life you’ve always had. Depending on this level of independence, alternative aged care facilities may be recommended.
If you’re living with a physical or mental health condition, it’s important to contact your doctor to discuss how these conditions could impact your future and adjust your age care plan accordingly.
Though there are countless benefits to ageing in place, there are risks involved that need to be assessed before you make the big decision.
Safety is the greatest concern for those ageing in place. Accidents happen, so intervening beforehand is key. This can be achieved through home modifications; installing grab rails in the bathroom or a wheelchair accessible ramp.
If you’re living alone, it’s crucial that you’re prepared for a medical emergency. Being able to contact someone for help if you suddenly become ill or injured is imperative to your safety.
It’s important to monitor whether the changes you’re experiencing with age are outliving the preparation you’ve completed at home. Understanding when you can no longer live at home without assistance will prevent unnecessary accidents.
So, before you decide to age in place, consider the risk factors involved and start preparing now.
If ageing in place is something you’re considering, contact Endeavour Life Care for an assessment of your house and see how they can help make the necessary changes to prepare for your future.