It is best to make the decision early and begin planning.
If you are considering aging in place, the best approach may be to begin planning early, according to LMTonline.com. in “BBB On Homes: Focus on several things when aging in place.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define aging in place, as the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably regardless of age, income or ability level.
Changes in health or finances don’t always allow this to happen. Here are four things to keep in mind, when considering whether you or a parent will be able to remain at home:
Safety updates. This generally includes a walk-in shower, safety rails, widened doorways that can accommodate wheelchairs, non-slip flooring, ramps and accessible kitchen drawers and food preparation surfaces.
Getting food and supplies. Food and medication deliveries are crucial to aging in place. What will happen, if you are no longer able to drive? If you depend on local stores for delivery and there is a major weather event, how will you manage? There are some non-profits who deliver but people must be open to the idea of receiving help from others.
Preparing for disasters and emergencies. Living alone makes it difficult to get help immediately after an accident. When time is of the essence, it can be difficult. There are many options, including medical alert systems and home surveillance cameras. However, the person has to be willing to have them. Arranging for a friend or family member to check in daily is good for every day safety. However, it will not help in an emergency.
You’ll need health care and transportation. If you live in a city or suburb where there is public transportation, you’ll be able to get to your doctor’s appointments. If not, you’ll need to budget for taxi services.
Budgeting. Living on your own means more independence and privacy. However, it may cost more because certain fixed costs can only be reduced so far.