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How to Age in Place | Retirement Center Management

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5 Tips for Aging in Place Longer

According to a 2021 report, almost 90% of Americans want to age in place at home. But in a slightly older study from 2018, only 59% of adults 50 and older think they’ll be able to do it.

Why the discrepancy between “want to age in place” and “will be able to age in place”? And if you want to age in place, what do you need to do now to ensure you’ll be able to do it successfully in the future?

Expenses related to aging in place

Older adults who want to age in place may be concerned about the overall costs:

  • Common home modifications include widening doorways to accommodate walkers and wheelchairs, changing the shower or tub design to feature a low-step entry and seat, building a step-free entrance to the home to remove stairs, and placing non-slip flooring throughout the house.
  • Paying for care is a big concern, of course. Monthly median costs for an in-home health aide was more than $4,500 a month, according to a 2020 survey. And that figure was tallied based on only 44 hours of assistance a week. If someone needs around-the-clock care, that could easily total over $200,000 annually.
  • Then there’s the cost of hiring out help for all the various types of jobs that may be needed around the house. This is especially true if help is needed for seniors living alone, with no spouse to assist with things like housekeeping and meal preparation. Other additional expenses may be for lawn and home maintenance services, and even hiring a power of attorney to help manage your finances if you’re no longer able.

How to age in place successfully: 5 tips

In addition to making some of the home modifications we discussed earlier, here are five things you can do now to better prepare yourself for aging at home.

  1. Talk with your doctor about any health issues that may gradually make it more difficult for you to care for yourself. Conditions like diabetes may need constant monitoring, so consider devices that frequently monitor your blood glucose levels and remind you to take your insulin. Arthritis may severely limit your mobility; you may plan by installing grab bars and a higher toilet seat in the bathroom. If you’re at risk for frequent falls you may make certain home modifications like the non-slip flooring or no-step entrance.
     
  2. Investigate community resources for assistance. Your local Area Agency on Aging may have resources for you to tap into. Your church or doctor may have suggestions on available senior services.
     
  3. Talk with a geriatric care manager. This is a specially trained professional who can help you find resources to make your daily life in your home easier. A geriatric care manager will work with you and your spouse to form a long-term care plan and help you find the services you may need. They’re especially helpful if you’re a senior who lives alone or if your family members don’t live close to you.
     
  4. Get all your important documents together. Depending on your needs and wishes, these may include a will, a durable power of attorney, a power of attorney for healthcare, a living trust, a HIPAA release, any orders specifying whether you wish to have life-sustaining treatment, and so on. Along with these documents, assemble all your important papers — deeds, car titles, long-term care insurance papers — and make sure someone knows where to find them.
     
  5. Research what senior transportation services may be available in your community. If you’re no longer able to drive at some point, you’ll need help getting to and from doctor appointments, going grocery shopping, and visiting friends or family. Some cities offer free transportation services for the elderly and people with disabilities; some charge a fee.

One more tip: Research your senior living options

You may have your mind set. You’re aging in place, no matter what.

But what if you found a senior living community that offers independent living, along with a continuum of care, so you could still age in place with all the benefits a community provides?

As you research all your options, investigate a Retirement Center Management community. With 34 communities across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and North Carolina, you may be surprised to find one close to you or near a family member. And you may be delighted to discover how much better your life can be when you become a resident.

Learn more about RCM and everything a senior living community can offer you, or contact us.

Retirement Center Management

281-819-1029

6363 Woodway Dr Ste. 300 Houston, TX 77057