Aging in place doesn’t just happen.
In order to ensure you, your family members, and your home are ready for your changing needs requires planning. And planning starts with an honest evaluation of your situation, including your housing options, health and wellness, finances, transportation, community involvement, social interaction, and overall quality of life.
Once you and your loved ones have determined that aging in place is the best option for you, there are three main concerns to consider as you plan to modify your existing space to meet your changing needs:
First and foremost, you must be able to move around your home safely without the risk of fall or other injury. This will likely involve both cosmetic, DIY changes like removing throw rugs and adding grab bars, as well as professional-grade projects like installing a walk-in bathtub or building a wheelchair ramp.
In order to maintain your independence, you’ll need to ensure everything you need on a day-to-day basis is accessible for you. Are counters and cook surfaces at the right height to prepare meals? Can you go to the bathroom without assistance? If you will be spending much of your time alone, do you have access to a phone or medical alert system in the event of an emergency?
The biggest advantage to growing old at home is staying where you are comfortable, both physically and emotionally. You don’t have to renovate your home into a space you hardly recognize. Instead, make changes gradually and keep your preferences in mind. A home must be functional, but it should also be a reflection of who you are and what you love.
yOUR pLAN FOR aGING IN pLACE
A printable PDF planning tool from the National Aging in Place Council that helps you assess your needs and identify next steps to aging in place.
aGING IN PLACE BASICS
AgeInPlace.com gives you an overview of what aging in place is and how to get started.
INTERACTIVE SAFETY GUIDE
This online activity from CaregiverStress.com will take you room by room, showcasing common hazards you need to look out for in your own home.
Can You Afford to Age in Place?
From zero-step entrances to arthritis-friendly door handles, this AARP.org article will give you the average costs for some of the most common aging-in-place home modifications.