Aging in Place: The Nursing Home Alternative
Aging in place can offer comfort and familiarity to people as they grow old. Many people shudder at the idea of living in a nursing home or retirement community, so they might decide that staying put is the best option for them. Keep reading to understand exactly what aging in place means and whether it’s the right choice for your elderly loved ones.
What is it?
Aging in place means that an elderly person has chosen to live out the rest of his or her life in the comfort of home. Not only is this to ensure good quality of life but also to improve the quality of their life by making adjustments to the home to ensure that the elderly person has everything they need to be happy and healthy.
What needs to BE in place to age in place?
The home needs to be accessible to the elderly person. That means different things to different people. Assess the individual needs of your elderly loved ones. Do they have trouble getting around? Do they use a cane or a walker? Make adjustments to the home as you see fit to ensure ease of movement. Common items that people install in their homes to make them more accessible are ramps, handlebars (especially in the bathroom) and shower seats.
Also, consider whether your loved ones require at-home care. If you can afford it, and we’ll get to that later, a nurse who comes to visit daily can give your loved ones the kind of medical attention they require from the comfort of their own homes.
Learn more about at-home care by reading our blog post Options for Home Care for Elderly Parents.
When should you start planning?
The sooner you start planning, the better. If your elderly loved ones want to age in place but neglect to tell you, it could be very hectic trying to get everything in order for them to remain in their homes rather than in a nursing home or retirement community. Not to mention expensive. If your loved ones plan to age in place, make sure you have the funds saved in order to support that wish, especially if they need an at-home nurse or other long-term care. Start the conversation early, and maybe even dedicate a fund to saving for your loved ones’ wish to age in place.
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Do they need to relocate?
Let’s say Mom or Dad is physically fit enough to age in place and not have to employ a home health worker to visit daily or weekly. You still want to make sure your parent is close to a hospital in case of emergency.
Also, your loved one needs a certain amount of physical and mental stimulation. Is the house in walking distance to a park, shops and entertainment? If your loved one’s home is in a remote area, you might want to consider relocating him or her to a better place to age in, or someplace closer to you or a health care proxy for security.
We’re here to help you navigate the best options for your loved ones as they enter their golden years. Call us today for more information about aging in place or other alternatives.
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