Choosing to Age in Place: 5 Realities You Need to Consider
One of the toughest decisions in life comes when a senior citizen decides whether to seek outside help in a retirement community or stay at home. Just under 90 percent of seniors prefer to age in place, but this can lead to a very difficult life without the proper preparation. Special accommodations need to be made to ensure you can live a normal life at an advanced age. These are the five things you must consider before deciding to age in place.
Renovate the Home
You will find that, as you get older, certain tasks won’t come as easily to you as they once did. For this reason, you will want to make sure your home is as accessible as possible. If, for instance, your garage door can only be opened and closed manually, you ought to consider an upgrade. Installing a garage roller door opener is a way to provide easy access to the home. Also, there will likely come a time when you become confined to a wheelchair. Since most homes are not constructed to handle wheelchairs, a few renovations must be done. A wheelchair ramp needs to be added outside the front door to ensure you can easily enter the house. Additionally, be sure to have a quality security system installed in your place of residence.
Hire a Landscaper
The yard work is never going to go away. Since you one day may not be physically able to maintain the yard yourself, you may consider hiring a landscaper. While this will ensure the outside of your home stays properly maintained, it will be an added expense on your tight budget. However, if you have a family member or neighbor who is willing to perform this work for a more affordable rate (or perhaps free of charge), it would be wise to ask them for their support. When you find yourself in need, don’t hesitate to reach out to those who can help you.
Maintain a Social Life
The final years of your life could get rather lonely if you do not maintain an active social life. This is fairly easy to achieve in a retirement community, but it can be tricky when aging in place. Having your friends visit on a regular basis and attending events at the local community center are the perfect ways to keep a thriving social life as a senior. If you find yourself confined to your home, don’t hesitate to reach out to loved ones via telephone or social media.
Find Reliable Transportation
There may come a time when you will not be able to safely operate a motor vehicle. In order to complete your grocery shopping and other tasks, you will need to find reliable transportation. The easiest way to do this is by asking a relative. If you do not have any local relatives, then you need to make sure there is a senior citizen transportation service in your area.
Outsource Bill Paying
The normal task of paying the bills can become very challenging at an advanced age, due to both physical and mental setbacks. Since you are required to keep track of so much information to perform this task, it is often best to have someone else pay the bills. A trustworthy relative should always be the first choice, but you can also use a bill paying service. There’s no need to let your advancing years prevent you from keeping on top of your finances.
You do not have to leave your home just because you are getting older. Aging in place can be a wonderful experience if you take the right precautions first. However, you may find that moving to a retirement home to be a better option for you. Carefully consider the realities of aging in place, including your specific set of challenges, and only choose to do it if all your needs can be accommodated.