As an older adult, you may want to remain in your own home and your family members may be thinking about how to make that possible.
Aging in place is possible, but only if you create a reasonable plan. Any plan should envision a worst-case scenario, as difficult as that may be. You may find that there are situations that make aging in place unsafe and or unaffordable.
We have suggestions for evaluating care costs and care needs for yourself or an aging parent. Both are important considerations in improving your quality of life while ensuring home safety.
You may not have any pressing care needs now, but you may in the future.
Start by understanding your health insurance, what Medicare will pay for and what it won’t, the cost of in-home care, and the limitations of home health. The medical care you may require could be expensive at home, and you will want to evaluate your financial situation.
Personal care is nonmedical and is typically limited in scope to duties such as activities of daily living and companionship.
Medicare does not cover personal care. You will be responsible for covering the cost of professional caregivers unless you have a long-term care policy.
Also, consider when you would be willing to leave your current home and move to senior living, retirement living, or assisted living.
If you are low income, review whether you qualify for Medicaid and if the services they can provide can help to keep you in your home. If you should need a care center either for the short term or longer, how will you pay for it?
Typical care needs include:
Many older adults wait to make home modifications until they need them. The problem with this strategy is that you may not be able to get someone soon enough to do the installation.
Here are our recommendations for home modifications:
Most older adults who want to age in place will need other support services to make that happen.
Here are some suggestions on potential resources for you and your family:
Review home health and home care agencies in your community so you can be prepared if and when you need one.
It is crucial to discuss your living options with your family so they can support you as you age.
Consider writing down under what circumstances you would want to transition from home to senior living. Make sure you have all of your legal documents in place, such as health care and financial power of attorney.
Aging in place is most often thought of as being at home. But the concept of home is changing for older adults beyond an assisted living facility, a retirement community, and other senior care choices. Long-term care doesn’t have to mean a care center or a nursing home.
Some of the creative aging-in-place ideas:
Aging in place is what most older adults say they want. The reality of making that possible can be a shock when you aren’t prepared.
Follow our steps and be proactive rather than reactive to ensure that you are safe in your home-wherever that might be.
A Certified Care Manager, Aging Life Care Professional, and Certified Master Guardian Emeritus. She is also the founder of Lambert Care Management, providing care management and consultation services to older and disabled adults. She has 20+ years of experience in geriatrics, with expertise in mental health, home health, and guardianship, as well as all aspects of care planning, including assessment, projected costs of care, client advocacy and education, caregiver coaching, and advance directives. She is also co-author with Leslie Eckford of Choose Your Place: Rethinking Home as You Age (2020), Aging with Care: Your Guide to Hiring and Managing Caregivers at Home (Rowman and Littlefield 2018).
Ready Set Care is creating a community to provide guidance for anyone caring for an aging loved one.
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