To age in place is to plan for a life when you’re older that suits you & your lifestyle.
This month I want to continue the discussion about why aging in place is important.
If you are like a lot of folks I’ve talked with in the past, you’re thinking, “I’m not old, yet. I have plenty of time to get ready.” Or, maybe you will decide to not think about it, so you don’t have to feel stressed about it.
I understand how you feel. No one wants to think about or talk about growing older, and what that can mean. It isn’t fun. BUT …
Your whole future could be at stake if you don’t
I don’t want to be an alarmist. However, statistically speaking:
Your lifestyle, health and even freedom could be at stake if you don’t take the time to learn about (and act on) the things you can do to prepare yourself for later in life.
For instance, I talked a little bit in the last article about some of the things that can change for you later in life that you should be ready for. Some of those might be physical, which can impact your life in many different ways.
In this article, I want to talk about the real cost of not preparing to age in place. Specifically, what it could cost you if you don’t get your home ready to live in it as long as you can.
We’re going to focus on two things:
– The biggest danger to your physical, mental and financial health later in life
– What it means if you’re not ready to prevent it
The biggest danger to aging in place
Probably the biggest danger we go into later in life unprepared for is falling. Statistically, your chances falling are far greater than being victim of a debilitating disease or even getting Alzheimer’s (or other dementia).
Dementia affects one in 14 people over 65 (7.1%) and one in six over 80.
On the other hand, more than 25% of people over age 65 will fall.
So, you have a 17.9% greater chance of falling than you do of developing some kind of dementia.
According to the CDC, falls there is no greater risk for injury or death from injury, than falling. It is the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in older adults. The CDC says that threat is equal to:
- 29 million falls in a year
- 3 million emergency department visits
- 800,000 hospitalizations
- 28,000 deaths.
Falls also cost older adults $31 billion dollars. Which is just going to continue to climb as the 75 million Baby Boomers continue to grow older and get into that portion of their lives where falling becomes a very real issue.
Don’t think you or your spouse are immune to falling, either. The truth is, the National Safety Council (NSC) says emphatically that adults 65 years and older are at risk of falling. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) supports those claims, including :
“One out of every four people age 65 and over falls each year. Of those slips, one out of five leads to a serious injury such as a head injury, a traumatic brain injury, or broken bones. According to the CDC, emergency departments around the nation treat almost 3 million older people for fall-related injuries every year. Of those, around 800,000 are hospitalized.”
The truth is that several things can happen when you fall … and, can impact your ability to age in place.
- Your overall health can be affected, which can affect your quality of life and shorten your lifespan.
- You can permanent physical damage, which could require you to use a wheelchair or walker the rest of your life.
- You will increase your chances of falling once you’ve fallen.
- You could lose your ability to live at home by yourself.
If your overall health has been affected by a fall, it will increase your medical expenses for the rest of your life.
If you fall again, you will risk further damage to your body and increase the likelihood you can no longer remain at home. (Regardless of your age!)
If you can’t live at home anymore, you could end up spending $5,000.00 to $12,000.00 per month for assisted living or nursing home care.
Think that doesn’t sound right? Here are the results from the latest GenWorth Cost of Care Study for the Cincinnati, OH area.
Your aging in place takeaway
If you take the initiative to plan to age in place, including getting your home ready, you could end up saving yourself a lot of heartache and money.
1. You could keep living life the way you want, instead of having to leave home.
2. You could spend money now to remodel your home, but could end up saving money in the long run, since you’d make your money back on remodeling your home in a few years vs. paying for assisted/nursing home care.
If you’d like to learn more about how to prepare your home, all you have to do is give us a call at (513) 677-0196.