Let’s start with some important information about aging in America. Caring for older citizens and the aging population by 2030 will have many far-reaching implications for American society; it is one of the most important events to plan for and consider.
In previous years, the most common practices for senior citizens were typically going into an assisted living facility so they can take care of themselves or an aging partner. The world is constantly changing and the trends for growing older Americans too, almost 90% of those people over age 65 and want to stay in their homes as long as possible, according to an AARP survey. The fact is that senior citizens want to stay in their homes throughout the aging process, known as “aging in place.”
There are some facts that contribute to this growing trend. Some of them are that many people want to stay independent, be close to friends and family, stay comfortable in their homes, delay costs, and save for their future health needs.
How to Make This Project a Reality?
The most important thing to consider is to have a strategy that will address your changing needs as you age. Here are some steps that will guide you on how to age in place.
Step 1: Renovating your Home
There are some common improvements and modifications that can be done by yourself or with the help of a handyman.
Some tips to consider are replacing doorknobs with door lever pulls, installing rocker light switches, and switching your windows to awning-style openings.
You can consider installing smart home technology such as video doorbells, security systems, alarms, automated lighting, and thermostats, which can easily be monitored and controlled remotely via apps on a phone or tablet.
To help with your standing and balance, you can install wainscoting or chair rails, wheelchair lifts or home elevators, grab bars in bathrooms, as well as adjustable-height showerheads to make it easier to bathe.
As far as how much your project might cost, there are free project cost guides online that can help you find out how much home projects typically cost in your area.
Step 2: Keep Your Home Safe
The most important step is to perform a complete safety assessment. This can help you when checking for things like slippery steps, loose stair railings, furniture obstructions, or area rugs where you could trip or fall.
There are some maintenance steps you should definitely consider to create the safest place possible. Some of these include testing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Some other security tips are replacing the burned-out light bulbs and cleaning up your yard to avoid any kind of accident that can be provoked by wet leaves or other objects.
Step 3: Home Security System
In order to feel safe in your home, an important factor is having a trustworthy security system. This should include a quick response when an emergency occurs, such as the ones provided by ADT, SimpliSafe, or Vivint.
There are some important things to consider while choosing the right home security system. Most of them can have personal alarms, panic buttons, or big panels that make them easier to handle.
You can also install some cameras that can be accessed remotely or can be monitored by your family.
As an added bonus, investing in a home security system will also likely lower your home insurance rates.
Step 4: Assistance in Home and Personal Activities
Maybe you can need additional household help that can be accessible, safe, and secure. There are so many options in the market that you can consider in order to make your life easier.
Some examples are: hiring some people that can help you clean your house or help with maintaining your yard, getting your groceries delivered), hiring a laundry delivery service, or hiring a trustworthy money manager for investments or paying bills on time.
Step 5: Home Insurance
The finance component for seniors is an important aspect of this project, and every person should make sure they have adequate insurance for their homes. It is always important to plan for the worst-case scenario and make sure your home is properly insured.
In the case there is a big loss on the property, it is nice to have deductible forgiveness, so that the insurance company may waive the deductible for the homeowner. Also, lifetime renewability protects the homeowners when an insurance cancellation may occur, and the protection for the full cost will make your insurance company replace your belongings, no matter the condition, for similar quality items.
Benefits of Growing Older at Home
We have spoken about the main considerations you should take when thinking about aging at home. Definitely, it is not for everyone because it requires some improvements and planning and strategy, but it is sure worth the effort.
If you are a healthy person, that allows you to be independent and to live in your own terms in this step of your life.
There are a lot of benefits to growing older at home. You now have time to dedicate to the activities that you could not before. Maybe taking some dance, painting or cooking classes, or visiting your friends and family.