Would you like to stay in your home for as long as possible — what is known as aging in place — as you grow older? Chances are you can! Even couples can stay aging in place in their home together. As a result, being able to continue aging in place becomes easier when you start planning for it now by considering these aspects:
How to Age in Place
To remain aging in place, it's best to make plans now for how to get your home in order — whether that is making it wheelchair accessible, installing safety solutions, rearranging furniture, etc. The idea is to alter your home to prevent falls and keep you safe.
Preparing Your Home to Age in Place
- Modify your home. Use these solutions for aging in place, including modifying your bathroom, bedroom, living room, and kitchen to ensure safety with limited mobility.
- Analyze your home for fall prevention. Can you get from one side of your home to the other safely with your eyes closed? Make sure floors don't pose trip hazards; address potential slip-and-fall concerns in the bathroom; make things easily accessible in the kitchen; be able to get out of bed and to the door safely; and check all indoor and outdoor steps.
- Install wheelchair ramps. When you have a mobility device, you'll need to make sure you choose the right wheelchair ramp to make getting in and out of your home easier.
- Use a stair lift. Installing a stair lift for your indoor and outdoor stairs enables you to move around your home freely, and to get in and out of your home more easily and safely (particularly when there's inclement weather).
- Know the steps to take for fall prevention. Exercising and simple home modifications all work toward the goal of preventing falls for seniors in the home.
- Use a mobility device. Choose the right mobility device for your needs. Understand that Hoveround can help you stay in your home, by aiding in fall prevention — which can save you money from hospital stays and in-home nursing care as a result of an injury from a fall.
Preparing Your Finances to Age in Place
The most important step to prepare yourself for aging in place is to determine your ability to pay for long-term care. Be sure to thoroughly go over your finances while planning for your future, and to include others in this conversation if possible. It may be tough to talk about, but it's important that you and your loved ones (and potential caregivers) are on the same page and understand your financial situation.
Here are some questions to consider and discuss when preparing to age in place.
- Income. What will your income be? Where will your income come from? Will it ever increase or decrease?
- Health insurance. What will your health insurance be? What will it cover when it comes to doctor visits, trips to the emergency room, in-home nursing, etc.? Will it cover any home modifications or mobility devices (such as a power wheelchair or mobility scooter) for disabilities? Is this liable to change over time — either the insurance itself, or the coverage level?
- Payments. What bills will you have to pay? What are the necessary payments? What things can be eliminated if needed?
- Assets. Do you own your home, vehicles, or other property? Is anyone else on the titles of the properties?
- Seek advice from a financial planner. Choose one who specializes in senior financial planning to help you plan for long-term care — whether that means liquidating assets, etc.
- Get legal help. Ensure your power of attorney, will, living will, health care proxy and all other pertinent legal issues are handled appropriately.
Preparing for Your Care to in Place
Even though you plan on living in your own home for as long as possible, you may still have a caregiver to live with you, stop in regularly or be on hand if needed. Or, you may have children who could potentially play some sort of caregiver role.
- Discuss your wishes. Be sure to let loved ones and potential caregivers know your wishes to remain aging in place as long as possible. This will help any future talk of moving into an assisted living community and hopefully diminish frustration and confusion.
- Important paperwork. Do you have an emergency document binder detailing where all of your important paperwork is located? Do you have a list of credit card numbers and other financial information? Make one that is organized so that you and/or a caregiver can easily access all important information.
- Arrange transportation. How will you get to doctor's appointments, and run errands such as grocery shopping? Make sure you have a plan in place for how you will travel to things you need to get to, whether it's by using a Hoveround vehicle lift on your own vehicle or having a caregiver transport you.
Even with limited mobility, Hoveround can help make getting around easier for you. Call our Mobility Specialists today at (800) 542-7236 so we can help you retain your independence and learn more about how to age in place!