Aging in place, or staying in one’s own home as you get older, is preferred by 76% of Americans in their 50s and above, according to 2018 statistics from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
The aging person must have a good support network and a safe home for aging in place to become successful. To achieve this goal, it’s necessary to make plans early and involve family members in your plan.
Anthony Cirillo, the president of The Aging Experience, and Brian Harvey, certified aging in place specialist (CAPS) who runs Harvey Home Modifications, are experts in these areas. According to them, family members should not only offer their support but be part of the preparations for a safe home and supportive community for their aging loved ones.
Brian says that 9 of 10 of the projects he gets as a remodeler of homes where senior family members live are reactionary – accidents prompted the need to make alterations in one’s residence.
Fortunately, the National Association of Home Builders established the CAPS Program to provide people from various fields with a better understanding of the needs of individuals wishing to age in place, from the financial aspect to actual design-build requirements.
Meanwhile, Anthony says that family members must come together and take the time to discuss a parent’s preference to age in place.
It’s better to plan ahead. You may have to check your entire home, room by room, to determine how your residence will be suitable for aging in place. Professional financial and health services are now available to provide advice to families dealing with aging in place because of how large this market has grown.
When children live very far from home, naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCs) can stand in the gap and offer the necessary support and services that close family members aren’t able to provide.
Family members can turn to online tools such as eCare Diary and Lotsa Helping Hands so communities can support them in their journey. eCare Diary is a network for caregivers and has a database of nursing homes and home care services.
Meanwhile, Lotsa Helping Hands helps you connect with people who are willing to volunteer their time to help the elderly by delivering meals and giving rides for medical appointments, to name a few.
The AARP and caregiving associations also provide information to help families plan and prepare for their senior loved ones who want to age in place.
Caregivers, be they family members or third-party providers, will also find valuable resources from The Caregiver Smile Summit, a virtual program created by Anthony, featuring videos from experts in the field of caregiving.
Tips on finding the healthiest place for aging alone and the best place to age in place comfortably are also available here on Sixty and Me.
Are you making plans for aging in place? How are you and your family preparing for it? Please share your thoughts with the community!