You hear “aging in place” in the news and from your parents’ friends. What does it mean? Here’s what aging in place is all about.
Aging in place is all about one goal. People want to stay in their homes as they get older. Ideally, they want to live in their house for the rest of their lives. As needs and abilities change, they want to adapt to those changes and avoid having to move to an unfamiliar community.
To plan so that aging in place is a reality, some careful planning is needed. Your family should discuss these aspects of aging in place and have a plan in mind in case these situations arise.
The Home’s Layout Makes a Difference
Is the home your parents live in set up for aging in place? If they have a two-story house and bedrooms are all upstairs, what happens if they cannot climb the stairs? Is there a room downstairs that could become a bedroom?
Ideally, you want a house that can be set up for single-level living with a kitchen, living area, bedroom, bathroom, and laundry all on that floor. If it’s not possible, you need to start looking at the cost and feasibility of putting in stairlifts, ramps, or elevators.
Are Any Legal Measures in Place?
Your mom falls and hits her head. She’s drifting in and out of consciousness, but doctors need to know answers to certain things. Is anyone legally able to help out? If your mom has medical power of attorney in place, it makes it easier for her designated person to decide what care she gets in the hospital.
In addition to a medical power of attorney, your mom should talk to a lawyer about the financial power of attorney designations and advance directive or living will forms. This helps ensure she’s represented by someone who can make her wishes clear if she can’t speak for herself.
If Help Becomes Necessary, Who Is Available?
Imagine what happens if your dad has a stroke. He’ll need help at home with meals, mobility, cleaning, and transportation. He may need help with appointment scheduling, organization, and bills. Do you live close enough to help out? Do your siblings?
If no one is nearby, who will help your dad? Does he have a spouse who can help or is he completely on his own? If he’s alone, senior care aides are there to help him with daily activities. If you’re close enough to help, you may want senior care services like respite care so that you can take breaks when needed.
What helps your mom age in place? What can senior care services do? As she needs more help around the home or with daily activities like rides to stores or medication reminders, senior care has her covered. She’ll stay independent without struggling.