My husband, Dan (pictured above), is a kind, compassionate hospice and palliative care nurse. He has dedicated his career to caring for people with advanced illnesses in their own places of residence. He has learned that most older people prefer to remain in their own homes, which helps them maintain their quality of life as they understand it.
Chronic illness or increasing physical limitations need not automatically force you to leave your home as you age. Through thoughtful and careful planning, you may be able to “Age in Place”— which will help you to maintain the quality of life you desire in the home of your choice. The focus of “Aging in Place” should be on SAFETY and COMFORT.
Modifications to your home may include installation of additional railings, increased lighting, non-skid flooring and grab bars in showers or tubs, walk-in showers etc., all designed to help reduce the risk of falling. Removing clutter and loose rugs that do not have non-skid backing, widening doorways, modifying door handles for easy gripping, installing kitchen cabinets with roll-out shelves, installing strobe-lit smoke detectors are just a few of the many recommended safety modifications. A home remodeler with a CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) designation will be trained in Universal Design principles and is therefore likely to have the expertise needed to retrofit your home to meet your future needs.
“Aging in Place” also involves knowing what community services are available to elderly and disabled people such as transportation, meal delivery services, home care, etc.
Your financial circumstances will be a critical factor in determining your ability to “Age in Place.” Make certain to have plans in place that address all financial and legal issues that may arise. Consulting with an attorney specializing in elder law as well as an estate or financial planner are advisable steps to take.
There are many on-line resources that can assist you in planning for your future including the National Aging in Place Council: www.AgeInPlace.org.
It is natural to think “I’ve got plenty of time before I need to worry about these issues.” But life changes have a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect them. Planning ahead may allow you to have the option of remaining safely in your home for as long as you desire.
If you prefer to move to a new home that better suits your needs, please contact me to discuss your options.