Aging in place, as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, refers to the ability of an individual to live independently in their own home and community. Being able to age in place also means living safely and comfortably regardless of age, income, or level of ability.
Aging in Place Means Planning Ahead
Planning ahead will prepare you for the challenges to come — challenges such as changes in your health, ability level, or social supports. In order to plan ahead, you must start with the end goal in mind. Visualize what you want your lifestyle to look like as you get older, then work backward outlining the steps you need to take to achieve that goal.
Planning ahead means planning for the unexpected as well. It’s wise to have a fallback plan in case any unforeseen emergencies occur. This can include the sudden development of a chronic illness, disability, or a change in income. The more smart choices you make now, the greater control you will have over your independence and quality of life as you get older.
Here are the key things to consider as you plan for aging in place.
What to Consider as You Age in Place
The first thing to consider is your home, and whether or not it is equipped to meet the needs and challenges of someone who is aging in place. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- “What modifications are needed to help me remain safe in my home?” These can include stair lifts, ramps, emergency response systems, security alarms, and so on.
- “If I have to leave my home temporarily, who will maintain it in my absence?” Depending on where you live, there might be community services available. Otherwise, you’ll need to have some emergency funds saved away to pay for the services.
- “What are some alternative options if my home does not adequately serve my needs?” Consider the costs and whether or not you have enough money to move if you need to.
Aging in place does not literally mean staying in one place all the time. Getting out and becoming engaged in your local community is highly encouraged. You should learn as much as you can about the community you live in because it could have a profound impact on your ability to age in place. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my community age-friendly?
- Does my community have supports and services in place to help me stay independent as I get older?
- Are there any neighboring communities that offer more of the supports and services I need?
- What kinds of government assistance are available where I live?
Having all the supports and services available at your fingertips means precious little if you don’t feel safe in your own community. Unfortunately, older adults are among the most vulnerable to fraud and financial abuse. To ensure your safety, ask yourself the following questions:
- How safe do I feel in my own community?
- Do I feel confident about being able to protect myself from fraud and financial abuse?
- What do I do if I feel as though my safety is being compromised?
Where to Find More Information about Aging in Place
Williams Lifts Company is dedicated to providing individuals with the equipment they need to maintain their safety and independence in their own home. We recommend looking into our stairlifts, ramps, and reclining lift chairs. For any other questions, you’re always welcome to contact us anytime.