Most people prefer to stay where they are as they age: The AARP reports that 90 percent of older adults want to stay in their homes for as long as they possibly can. However, the health issues and other changes that inevitably affect seniors can make aging in place difficult.
For example, decreased balance and worsening vision can turn elements of the home like staircases and rugs into safety hazards, while reduced mobility might make it hard to perform home maintenance. It’s important to carefully consider a senior individual’s specific situation and needs when determining whether aging in place in a healthy and safe way is possible in their current home.
If you’re considering aging in place as an option for yourself or a loved one, here’s everything you need to know about the concept and the factors that you should consider when making your decision.
What Aging in Place is and Why it Matters
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” When preparing yourself or a loved one to age in place, it’s important to consider whether your or their current home is set up to ensure the safety, independence, and comfort of senior residents.
Failing to properly account for how the home environment might need modification to allow for aging in place can lead to not only discomfort but also injuries, illness, and even death, according to the AARP. As a result, it’s crucial to plan ahead and consider a range of factors when making the decision to age in place.
Key Considerations for Aging in Place
If you’re thinking about aging in place, here are some things you should ask yourself first to determine what your needs are and how you might need to adjust your living space.
What health issues do you currently have or will you likely have as you get older? Your wellness and ability to take care of yourself and move around independently are a major factor to consider when evaluating whether remaining in your current home as you age is the right decision.
What changes will you need to make to help you get around your home safely as you age? Declining eyesight and balance are unavoidable as we age, so your house will likely need some modifications to help you navigate your home safely and reduce your risk of falling.
These might include everything from installing grab bars, better lighting, and handrails to adding ramps and lowering the height of cabinets, according to the CNBC article “Aging in place versus assisted living…It’s complicated.”
Can you afford to redesign your house so that you can age in place safely and comfortably? It’s also important to consider the estimated cost of the necessary modifications and whether it’s affordable for you to redesign your current home.
What are your options/plans of action for emergencies or accidents? You should consider what you will do to get help if you fall, if there’s a fire, or if another emergency occurs, according to the SeniorLiving.org article “Aging In Place – What Does Aging In Place Really Mean?”
How do you ideally want to spend your retired years? If you envision yourself ideally growing old in a community or group setting and your current home is in an isolated spot, aging in place might not be the best option, for example.
By answering these questions, you’ll gain a better understanding of your individual needs and start on the path to making an informed decision about aging in place. If you’d like expert guidance, our team can help you or a loved one decide how and where to live, based on our design and planning expertise as well as assessment findings. We consider accessibility as well as aesthetics.
To learn more about our services, contact us today by calling 847-769-2412 or emailing email@example.com.
Categorised in: Interior Design
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