I am going to caution you: If you are over age 45, you need to read this article. It is short, but full of information that could help you change your future for the better. (As well as, your parent’s future.) If you’re wondering why I said 45 there … read to the end.
You may have heard about this idea of aging in place. Which is, a person living in the home of their choice as they grow older for as long as they are able, while getting any assistance they may need.
Right now in the U.S., most people age 65 and older either live with their spouse or alone in their own home.
That makes pretty good sense, doesn’t it? I mean, most people will keep living in their homes as long as they are able, right?
Why is Aging in Place Important?
Well, the issue comes about when a person … you … begin experiencing what we all experience as we age: changes in our bodies, minds and abilities. And, we haven’t prepared for it.
Because, here’s a painful truth:
Many older people, including people you know, struggle with everyday tasks. Many are having a difficult time keeping up with their personal care, health care and the life at home.
For most of those, their quality of life begins a spiral and continues down until they are no longer able to stay at home.
You can say that won’t be you as much as you want, but statistically speaking, it will be you. Unless…
You begin making changes
One of the places people make changes first is their home. Specifically, home remodeling and modifications to create an environment that is easier to live in, and helps keep you safe, healthy and happy.
These changes should include creating a “main floor living” situation for you. (I.e. everything you need for daily life is on one floor of your home.) This includes, a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and laundry room. As well as, making sure that level of your home is easily accessible.
In conjunction with preparing your home of choice for late life, you need to begin addressing the other areas of your life, too. Specifically, in relation to what your needs are now or will be in the future (when you’re older).
- What services are available that you will most likely need?
- Is there ample medical care?
- Do you have a social network of family and friends to help?
- Will there be opportunities to socialize and can you get to them?
The whole point is looking very carefully at what life may be like later, and ensuring your community can provide that for you. So, you can begin making the appropriate changes and plans.
One other thing. As you begin hashing some of this out, start reaching out to local professionals who can help you accomplish your goals, such as an elder law attorney, certified financial planner or accessible home Remodeler who are experienced in working with folks prepare their lives for the future.
That’s the answer to, “Why is aging in place important?” and what you can start doing to take action for your own life.
So, why did I say 45 years old?
Simply, because the earlier you begin thinking about and preparing for your later years, the greater the chance you will succeed! The earlier you start, the better.
There will be people in the coming decades who have plenty of money, but will not be able to get the help they need at home and will be forced to move to assisted living just to get what they need. (Or, something similar to that.)
I don’t want you to be a statistic like that.