How to Plan Successfully for Aging-in-Place

Author: Robert Jo

Many seniors work for years to acquire their dream house and most of them want to stay in it until they die. As end-of-life draws near, the comfort of our own bed and surroundings becomes paramount. This has brought about the term “aging in place,” which allows seniors to remain in their homes as long as possible.

There are times when staying at home becomes impractical or even dangerous. If you’re among those who want to age in place, consider the following questions:

1. Is your current home equipped with everything you need to stay safe and healthy?
Whether it’s yard maintenance or general upkeep of the home, there is much to consider. Safety is a huge issue. This may include a safer shower/tub, being on a ground floor, hard flooring rather than carpet, etc. The key to success here is early planning.

2. How tight is your support system?
All of us need help as we age. No matter how sharp your mind is, or how independent you’ve been, you will likely need some practical and emotional help in later years. Having a strong support system of family, friends, church is an absolute necessity if you want to age in place. You’ll also want to consider things like transportation and proximity to good health care.

3. Do you have adequate finances?
Your current living expenses will most likely increase while your retirement savings will not. Consider the cost from making changes and updates to your home as you go. The time may come when a caregiver is needed, and that too requires planning. If your retirement funds aren’t able to carry you through any costs other than basic living expenses, you will need to start making adjustments now.

4. What other goals to you have for your retirement years?
This includes things like how close you are to your family and friends. If your family is spread out across the country, you may not be able to visit them as often as you like. You’ll want to be near airports and other transportation if you plan to visit often. These expenses may not have been factored into your current retirement plan.

5. Do you have a Plan B to fall back on?
Even with the best planning in place, the day could come when you can’t continue to live safely in your home. Talk through this possibility with family members and make them aware of what you want. Communication is vital here!

If aging in place is your desire, you must begin planning for it now. For more information on aging in place and how to properly plan for it, please contact us today!



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