Now is the time to decide to grow old comfortably in the home of your choice. While some circumstances may preclude such a choice, there are nevertheless many things you can think about today to prepare for aging in place, including the following.
Even those who love puttering around the yard need to accept that many tasks will become difficult or impossible with age. And it’s also essential to keep in mind that injuries sustained while doing odd jobs at home can make it challenging to remain at home. As your golden years approach, plan to get help with the yard. Simplify the tasks required and find someone you trust to keep things the way you like.
One of the most significant barriers to aging in place is a multi-story home. Stairs become an unmanageable barrier as mobility becomes more difficult. If you don’t live in a single-story home, you’ll need to consider solutions. The good news is that you have choices, especially if you plan in advance:
- Remodel to create a bathroom and bedroom on the main level.
- Install a home elevator
- Look into stairlifts. You’ll find curved and straight stairlifts with versatile designs that will fit any home.
- Consider a ramp for small flights of stairs from the garage, the front door, or any indoor location.
- Install a platform lift for the garage or the outdoor deck.
Other Accessibility Challenges
As you age and become more unsteady on your feet, many things can be a challenge in your home. Rugs and electrical cords pose a tripping hazard. Dimly lit spaces become unnavigable. The bathroom requires bars to keep you balanced. Items stored up high are unreachable, and climbing a ladder, even a small one, is unsafe. Making wise and reasonable accommodations will keep you healthy, safe, and at home.
Healthcare and Money
This is a tough one. Asking for help in this area often triggers feelings of anxiety, but here’s the honest, brutal truth: the ability to turn over the complications of healthcare and money management to a trusted individual is the best way to remain independent and at home. It seems paradoxical, but it’s nonetheless true. Healthcare and money become more and more complicated as you age. Getting good help will help you make wise decisions about both. When your health and money are carefully managed, your chances of living at home increase.
Have the Conversation Now
If aging in place is your plan, have these conversations now. Set yourself and your family up for success with a solid plan. You’ll be glad you did.