“Aging in place” is a term that has become more and more frequent these days. As people age, most prefer to do it in the comfort of their own home and familiar surroundings. Thankfully, most people will be able to do just that if they desire, although it takes a little advanced planning. Here are some tips to plan ahead for aging in place.
Planning Ahead to Stay in Your Home
It’s hard to plan ahead for everything because you never know what will happen as you grow older. The first thing is to establish the type of care you would like to have in a variety of situations. Whether you live alone with no one around to help you currently, or perhaps with a family member who is currently receiving care, it’s good to think through your own wishes.
A great way to start planning is to think about some of the more common illnesses that tend to befell seniors. You may even already be suffering from some of these diseases, like diabetes or cardiac disease, etc. You should have an honest discussion with your doctor about the progression of these illnesses and what you should expect long-term.
What Support Can Help Me Stay at Home?
What will you need to age in place and remain in your home? There are several agencies that can provide support, medical help and all types of caregiving services, although it does come with a cost. These costs can be managed well if you plan ahead.
Personal care. Perhaps you are just needing a little help with your personal care routine like washing hair, bathing or dressing. Care at this level could be provided by a trusted friend or family member, or even a home health aide who can come just for the times you need them and then leave you to get on with your day.
Household chores. We live in an age where everything can be delivered right to your front door. This includes groceries, prescription medications, and even services like housecleaning. If you are not savvy enough to order your groceries online and have them delivered, most stores will allow you to call in your order and either have it picked up at the store or delivered to your home. The best part about the pick-up? You don’t even have to get out of your car! They will bring it out to you.
You may also want to think about help with things like yard work, laundry, errands, or handyman projects around the house.
Planning for Meals. It’s more important than ever to make sure you are getting healthy meals with high nutrition. If you cannot make meals on your own, consider meal services like Meals on Wheels, or have someone take you to eat at community health centers, places of worship, etc. a few times per week. This also provides a great social outlet! The cost is usually very low or even free.
Money management. Many of us struggle with handling bills and sifting through insurance forms even when we’re young! This task can be very overwhelming for seniors. If you fall into this category, consider asking family or friends to help manage your paperwork and bill paying. Younger family members will know how to navigate the internet and could even set your bills up for auto-pay, where it is paid automatically at the same time each month.
Be sure to stay smart when dealing with money. Never tell anyone your social security number over the phone. Never give out other personal information like credit card numbers or even driver license numbers. Scammers love preying on seniors because they know many seniors are not aware of these pitfalls. If you aren’t sure what to look for, ask a trusted source for help with reading emails before clicking on any links.
Health Care. If you tend to forget to take medications or other tasks that should be done on a regular basis, consider getting an alarm device that can alert you when it is time to do things that are very important. If you need help after a hospital visit, Medicare may cover the cost of a home health aide. They can help get you on your feet again, as well as set out medications for the week so all you have to do is take them at the correct time. A trusted friend or family member could also accomplish this.
Another smart idea is to always take someone with you to doctor appointments so that someone else is listening to everything the doctor says! It’s always better to have an extra set of ears.
For even more information on aging in place, contact us today! We are here to help.