Staying in Your Home in Later Life
Nearly 90 percent of older adults want to remain in their own home in later life. You or your loved one may be one of these seniors who prefers to age in place, for as long as you can. To help, Right at Home designed the Aging-in-Place Guide, a practical resource for every aging adult and every family.
The easy-to-understand guide helps assess seniors’ health risks for living independently at home and explains the benefits of modifying/remodeling living space for older adults. The guide also offers room-by-room safety checks and practical steps to ensure comfort and peace of mind for enjoying the golden years . . . right at home.
What is "Aging in Place?"
“Aging in place” describes the desire to live in your own home in later life, as long as you are able. Remaining in your own home may involve social support and care services to help you live safely and independently. Ensuring your living environment has been adapted to your abilities — including necessary home modifications — is key to aging in place successfully.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) reports that nearly 90 percent of seniors want to stay in their own homes as they age. AARP research further notes that 69 percent of aging parents and 75 percent of their adult children think about the parents’ ability to live independently in the years ahead. But certain aging and health challenges can affect everyday activities for older adults inside and outside the home.
Unsafe Aging Conditions
As loved ones age, balance becomes a significant issue due to a variety of factors, including physical weakness, medications, and cognitive and visual impairment. Normally, a source of comfort for aging loved ones, the home can become hazardous without a fall-preventive strategy. Right at Home suggests you proactively and regularly assess the senior loved one’s home for anything that might be a health risk. In addition, you should determine whether your loved one can do the following in a safe manner:
- Go up/down stairs
- Get in/out of bathtubs/showers
- Get up from/sit down on beds, chairs and toilets
- Reach up/bend down to retrieve items from closets and shelves
- Use public transportation
- Maintain and keep up the home
- Manage one's health
After observing any safety concerns, suggest an agreeable solution. Be sure to discuss any of these risk factors with your physician. Aging in place requires an individualized plan that carefully considers a person’s functional abilities and any hazards and obstacles in the home. If you or your older loved one want to age in place — safely and comfortably — making practical home modifications may be the most beneficial solution.
Where to go from here
Learn about the steps you can take to making your home safe again. Learn how to identify option and need based adjustments to your, or your loved one's, home as well as how to spot potential hazards in the home.