Studies show that 90% of older adults say they wish to stay in their homes as they age. If you are one of them it’s time to make a plan for aging in place!
Here are six steps you can take to set yourself up to age in place:
Complete a home safety check
One of the first things you can do is make sure your house, apartment or townhouse is set up to be a safe and easy place for you to get around. Do a home safety check to reduce your future risk of an accident or a fall. AARP has identified several easy modifications that will ensure your home is safe. These include non-slip floor surfaces, grab bars in bathrooms, lever-handled doorknobs, and personal alert systems that enable you to call for help in emergencies.
Prioritize your health
Keeping yourself in good physical shape is crucial in helping you remain independent at home for as long as possible. Maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle which includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and minimized stress can help you ward off serious health conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, dementia, and depression.
Make a plan for transportation
It’s important to be able to get out and about in your community, and driving yourself is only one of many options to get you where you need to go. Look into what public transportation is available to you, talk to friends and family about how they may be able to help with rides, and familiarize yourself with local taxi companies or ride sharing services such as Lyft.
You don’t need to become a computer whiz to stay in touch with friends and loved ones from all over the globe. Getting acquainted with your smartphone or digital tablet’s messaging and video screen sharing programs can help keep you connected from the comfort of your living room. You’ll also find out what’s going on in your community and access helpful services such as grocery delivery and taxi services.
Look into long-term care insurance
Getting older comes with changing health needs, and most of us who age at home will ultimately need some form of long term care. Currently, Medicare does not pay for ongoing long-term home care, so looking into alternatives such as long-term care insurance may be a good option. This type of insurance helps pay for the cost of care generally not covered by health insurance or Medicare, and it will make a big difference when the time comes to consider a caregiver at home.
Make a plan for care
Not only is it beneficial to prepare financially for any future home care needs, it also helps to have a plan for who will be there to care for you. The Seniors At Home Futures Program helps you do just this—it’s designed for healthy individuals anticipating that their needs will change as they age. By signing up now you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing who to call if a crisis occurs, or if its time to consider a little extra help at home. There is no cost to enroll.
By taking these steps now, you will be on your way to aging in place – living the life you want at home now and in the years to come.
To learn more about aging in place and how Seniors At Home can help, call our free information line on 415-449-3700 or contact us online.