Are you planning to age in place? If you aren’t sure, you are not alone!
One of the biggest decisions you’ll make is where you will live. For many of us, our homes symbolize family. It’s where we raise the kids, gather for the holidays, and kick off our shoes after a long hard day. Our homes do ‘age’ as well, and as time moves along, what was once supportive of our growing family is not always fully supportive of our goals for active aging.
Being proactive, however, helps us understand what we may need before we need it!
What is Aging in Place?
According to Senior Living, aging in place is one’s decision to stay within their current home as long as possible with the comforts they’ve become accustomed to, safely and independently. Yet studies show that over 80% of Americans ages 65 and older have the highest homeownership rate, with most homes poorly suited to age in place.
As we age, it appears that we become even more attached to our homes, making it harder to consider moving from the place we’ve grown to love. But when we have the time to really sit and think about it, we start developing a mental list of things we need to consider for aging in place.
Recently, a mid- seventy-year-old reached out to us to do just that. Having seen our presentation during a virtual event hosted by one of our partners, she reached out to us to discuss her options for aging in place, including staying in her home or perhaps moving into a senior living community.
After completing a home livability assessment and sitting down to talk through our findings, she now has a better sense of what aging in place could look like. We spoke about options and modifications needed within her current home and defined the benefits of moving into an established Senior Community nearby.
The benefits of being proactive.
When possible, thinking ahead gives you more time to explore your options. For example, as children age and move out of the primary residence, empty nesters often find themselves in a space that isn’t practical for how they want to live now. Whether you are experiencing any current health challenges or you are very healthy, reviewing home modifications for living in place can benefit your future.
Like reaching out to a financial advisor to ensure you’re on track for retirement, contacting an aging-in-place specialist to help explain your options alleviates worry and clarifies what’s possible through livability assessments, recommendations, and education on this topic.
Creating a living-in-place plan not only helps the homeowner but benefits the family as well. So many of us have an emotional connection to our homes, and change is hard. There is benefit in bringing in a neutral third party to help discover your options!
Aging comes with its own set of unique challenges, but with proper planning, where and how you live may not be one of them. Working with a professional to develop a comprehensive plan and communicate that plan to your family and friends reduces anxiety and can provide peace of mind.