What is Aging in Place?
Aging in Place is a term used to describe the lifestyle choice of staying in your home, safely independently and for as long as possible. Successful aging in place includes safety at home, and good health. It’s the description of how you want to live today and in the future. Choosing to age in place works best by creating a plan for adding safety improvements to your home and focusing on the quality of your life.
By 2030, 1 in 5 Americans will be over the age of 65. Approximately 10,000 people are retiring each day and able to start receiving Medicare and Social Security benefits right away. Not everyone will retire at 65, but it’s a sobering number for the impact on these services. Government support will not be able to cover the cost of living in an assisted facility. The average cost of living in an assisted facility in Bellingham Wa is $4,500 / month, more if there are two people. Some people are choosing to stay in their homes for as long as possible because of finances. Some choose to stay in their homes because they want to stay near friends and family. Whatever the motivation, aging in place can be a good option for many people.
Safety Improvement for Homes
New homes are the easiest to prepare for the changing needs we’re all going to face. Incorporating accessible details like an on-level entry and ground floor rooms that can be turned into a bedroom and living space are important.
Accessible components are easy to design in the house plans. Things like having an on-level entry, providing a ground floor room that can become a bedroom, making doors wide enough for a wheelchair all help to make living at home easier for any age. Including details like lighting along the baseboards in hallways and motion sensor lights in the bathroom will make the home safer. Including these ideas during the design phase doesn’t increase the cost of the home, but will improve its safety and comfort.
Existing homes are more of a challenge, but some safety and comfort changes can be easy and inexpensive. Door knobs, lighting and adding non-slip tape to rugs are just a few low-cost improvements. Adding ramps and hand railings takes a little more skill and time, but still affordable. More complicated retrofits, like kitchens and bathrooms, can be costly and take time. If the changes need to be made right away because someone has fallen or gotten sick, the price and complexity go up. When there is a strategy already in place, much of this work can be done over time.
Your good health is a critical factor that increases the success of aging in place. Muscle strength is important to continue your daily routines. Balance and core strength help you stay on your feet safely. Cardio work for a healthy heart and endurance helps keep you independent. Exercising regularly is a key part of aging well and staying in your home. Following a workout plan that supports your lifestyle is essential.
Aging in place is a lifestyle choice to stay safely and independently in your home for a long time. Adding accessibility to your home will make it more comfortable for any age group. It requires a plan that focuses on the quality of your life and the safety of your home, for today and in the future.
Want more information? Email me and we can talk about your needs, and how to achieve your goals.