Do you hope to grow older and live at home for as long as possible? AARP says 89 percent of Americans hope to age in place over living in an assisted living community or a nursing home. If that’s the case for you, is your home set up and will it support you as you go through the stages of aging?
The goal of aging in place is to avoid a move to senior housing and instead stay in your existing house or maybe you move from a multilevel home to a one-level house or an apartment.
A popular trend is a tiny house village, a development for like-minded individuals to rent or own a small dwelling and to create support and community. A friend recently moved to Lake Chapala to a tiny home village. Her little space is a little more than 400 square feet.
But I’ve heard of others moving into micro-unit housing (small studio apartments in buildings with common living rooms and kitchens). Which option is best, and how do you know which one to choose?
And even before you start planning a move, do you know what to look for and know whether your house or another one will meet your needs? There are many considerations. I’ve written a 29-page kit called The Basics of Aging in Place — What You Need to Know. Learn more at the end.
Understanding your options and potential needs is the first step. Secondly, you need to understand your health care requirements. You may prefer to stay where you are, in the home you love but doing so may require modifications and changes to make it safer and more comfortable. Some people prefer a group setting, where companionship and planned activities fill the day.
What to look for:
• Functionality: Can you navigate your home safely?
• Location: Is the home in a community that easy access to friends and family and things you enjoy doing?
• Safety: Will you be able to get help in an emergency?
• Services: Are there nearby services you’ll want or need, such as medical care, shopping and entertainment?
• Affordability: Can you afford to live in a private home and pay for your other expenses? Maybe a move is necessary but maybe not — maybe all you need to do is make a few home modifications.
The Basics of Aging in Place Kit is filled with home modification ideas and how to pay for them. All for $5.99. Plus, you’ll learn how to:
• Utilize technology to stay safe and connected.
• Hire private duty care. A home companion for someone who lives alone (or couple) can do light housework or cooking, take you shopping.
• Arrange transportation. Find all options.
• Have food delivered if you can’t cook.
All for $5.99. Get the KIT — email me Carol@seniorcare.com and I’ll send you the link.
Carol Marak, aging advocate and editor at Seniorcare.com. She’s earned a Certificate in Fundamentals of Gerontology from UC Davis, School of Gerontology.