“’I’d like to move to a nursing home or assisted living,’ said no older adult ever. In fact, a recent study by AARP found that nine of 10 older Americans preferred to live in their homes as long as possible. The aging-in-place movement seeks to let seniors do just that, avoiding heading to a retirement community or skilled nursing facility for as long as possible—or forever.”
Staying at home requires planning. The sooner you begin, the more prepared you’ll be, even if you’re around at 102.
The Washington Post’s article, “Aging in place helps you to avoid a retirement community or nursing home,” explains that there’s plenty of work to do.
You might start by remodeling or retrofitting your home to suit senior-specific issues, such as decreased mobility or impaired eyesight (think replacing a bathtub with a walk-in shower or improved lighting). Some seniors add a first-floor bedroom and bathroom and an outdoor ramp onto their homes. Other changes can include wider doorways (the better to potentially accommodate a wheelchair or walker), a bathroom with grab bars and an easy-access shower.
This is known as universal design, which means building or remodeling a home to accommodate all ages and abilities. It can usually be implemented or planned by builders or contractors who are Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS), an educational designation offered by the National Association of Home Builders.
Even if you can’t afford a major remodel, there are some simple changes you can do, like installing shower grab bars or improving interior and exterior lighting to avoid falls and other accidents. You can also secure throw rugs to the floor with special two-sided tape to prevent slips.
You can speak with an elder law attorney about health agencies, resources for financial assistance, elder abuse prevention, as well as estate planning, Medicare, Medicaid and other state programs.
Keep busy by taking yoga at the local rec center, business or computer classes at the public library, or even getting a roommate to help combat loneliness and keep feeling connected and emotionally healthy.
For dining, in addition to the community-based food delivery from Meals on Wheels, you can get restaurant food or groceries delivered to your home by services, such as Uber Eats, Caviar and Peapod.
There are also a number of meal prep companies—Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and others—that make it easier to put a healthy meal on the table, without the need to journey to the grocery store.
Reference: Washington Post (July 1, 2019) “Aging in place helps you to avoid a retirement community or nursing home”