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How to Age in Place

A report from the University of Michigan found that only 15% of seniors had given home modification much consideration.

However, it’s a good idea for families to use this time to plan ahead for aging in place. It’s important to center seniors in the decision-making process and talk to them about their needs early.

“A portion of seniors are aging in place but are also stuck in place. They don’t have the financial resources to help them move or relocate or downsize, or they cannot afford to live in the nursing homes.”

Seasons’ recent article entitled “Pandemic has made seniors more confident about aging in place, study reports” explains that this is why an early open dialogue with seniors is so important.

Here are eight questions to ask to prepare for aging in place:

  1. What home modifications can I make now, so my home can continue to meet my needs as I get older?
  2. Do I have a bedroom and bathroom available on the ground floor?
  3. Is it more sensible to downgrade to a smaller home or move in with family?
  4. How can I meet my transportation needs? What if there’s an emergency?
  5. Am I willing to have additional caregivers come into the home to help me?
  6. What tasks would I be most comfortable with them doing?
  7. What are some anxieties I have about living alone? How can I get more comfortable with the idea?
  8. What other concerns do I have that should be addressed now?

It’s important to keep the lines of communication open as the situation changes. What a senior was comfortable with at one point may not be the same as they lose their abilities.

About half of older adults who responded to the AARP survey agreed they would be willing to consider an accessory dwelling unit – such as a mother-in-law cottage – or multi-generational home. These are both aging-in-place solutions that can offer seniors the support they need, while maintaining their independence and preventing institutionalization.

Elder Law Attorney, Long-Term Care Planning, Elder Care, Caregiving, Aging in Place

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