My parents’ story: About 8 months ago, my parents came really close to selling their long-time home & making the move to an independent living retirement community. This community had independent living villas behind a main building that housed more assisted care living options. Why now? After 46 years in the same home, what prompted them to seriously consider a move of this magnitude? They each had their health crisis & learned their long-time home has a lot of potential pitfalls for someone trying to age in a healthy manner.
Let’s start with the multiple staircases located on all 3 levels of the home (inside and outside), plus the basement laundry and a “step down” living room from the kitchen (only traveled a million times a day by each parent), finally followed by not a grab bar in site anywhere! If that sounds like a recipe for disaster, you’re right (well, almost right). Thank goodness their health scares didn’t elevate but it did make them realize their house is not set up to age in place. So, after seriously considering a move to a retirement community, they decided to modify the home instead.
What action steps can help you age in place?
As we get older, it can be scary to think about leaving our homes and moving into places where we can get help. Many of us have fond memories and a deep emotional attachment to our homes, and the idea of leaving it all behind can be devastating. But with a little planning and some smart changes, we can age in place and stay as long as possible in the comfort of our own homes.
There are many reasons someone might want to stay in their home as they get older. For one, it offers a sense of independence and autonomy. You can stay in charge of your life and make your own choices instead of letting other people make them for you. Additionally, staying in your own home can be less expensive than moving into an assisted living community, and it also allows you to remain close to friends and family.
Most people think it’s healthy and a good idea to age in place, as long as they can take care of their basic needs and keep their home safe. You can do this by making changes to your home or by changing the way you live.
Physical changes to your home may include adding grab bars in the bathroom, installing a stairlift or elevator, and widening doorways to accommodate a wheelchair. These modifications can make it easier and safer for you to move around your home, reducing the risk of falls and injury.
In terms of lifestyle changes, it is important to stay active and engage in physical activity to maintain strength, balance, and mobility. Eating a balanced diet and staying hydrated is also crucial for overall health and well-being. Reading, doing puzzles, and spending time with other people can all help keep your mind sharp and keep you from getting depressed.
Here are some of the best ways to make aging in place possible:
- Make a plan: Think about making changes to your home and way of life while you are still healthy, instead of waiting until your body can’t do what it used to. This will give you time to plan and make any necessary changes, and also ensure that your home is as safe and accessible as possible.
- Figure out what you need. Do a full assessment of your physical, mental, and emotional needs to figure out if you need to make any changes to your home or way of life to make sure you can stay in your home safely and comfortably as you age.
- Get help from a professional. Think about hiring an aging-in-place specialist to look at your home and make suggestions for changes. They can also help you identify any potential hazards and recommend solutions to make your home safer. HALO Senior Solutions can help you find a local, highly qualified aging-in-place specialist. Just call us @ 833-284-HALO.
- Stay socially active. Keeping in touch with people is important for our overall health, especially as we get older. Stay connected with friends and family, join clubs or groups, and participate in community activities to keep your mind and body active.
In the end, aging in place is a good choice for many older people who want to stay in their own homes. With proper planning and preparation, physical modifications, and lifestyle changes, you can ensure that you are able to age in place safely and comfortably.
HALO Senior Solutions has helped a lot of elder clients move out of the homes they’ve lived in for a long time and into retirement communities or homes that are better for aging in place. They have also helped clients make changes to their existing homes so they could stay there as they got older. Whichever your choice, they offer a comprehensive move management service, full set of real estate services (through HALO Realty Group) and can oversee every facet of this difficult decision. Todd Howard, the founder and CEO of HALO Senior Solutions and a licensed Indiana Realtor, holds the SRES® (Certified Seniors Real Estate Specialist) designation and would love to answer your questions.