Checklist: 8 Steps to Ensure Successful Aging in Place

Would you or your loved one prefer to retain independence and age in place rather than live at a nursing facility? You are not alone. Successful aging in place is becoming more and more common. Just as the global population of older adults is growing at an unprecedented pace, so is the same population group in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American 65 and older population is expected to double over the next thirty years – from 48 million to nearly 90 million. Furthermore, global life expectancy is projected to extend an additional eight years within the same period.

Senior woman making a list at home

It comes as no surprise then that these demographic shifts have created demand for aging in place options. And with the call for older adult independence, comes the need to create a plan that includes the support and resources to address specific individual needs holistically.

Here is a checklist of the eight steps to create a solid plan that ensures successful aging in place:

8 Steps to Successful Aging in Place

1. Round-Up Important Information

Make a list of all assets, income, and expenses. Do the finances cover all costs of living, including medical? If not, find out if there are any assistance programs offered by the county, city, and or state.

2. Evaluate your Living Space

Determine if the home is suitable for all age-related needs. Are there any home modifications such as grab bars, walk-in tubs, or stair lifts that need to be made? Below, you’ll find a short list of other common alterations for successful aging in place.

  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Shower transfer benches
  • Non-skid strips
  • Push-button door openers
  • Roll out shelves
  • Climate controls.

3. Assess Your Health Needs and Coverage

Create a list of health issues and necessary medications. Does the existing health insurance cover everything? If not, are there any local organizations that can assist with these expenses?

4. Look Into Home Care

Determine which healthcare services and other types of care are needed at home, and which must be conducted a medical facility. Assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating are quite common. Additionally, many organizations provide extended assistance with a variety of services from caring for medical devices to grocery shopping.

5. Transportation

Define transportation needs. If still driving, find out when your license expires as well as what age-appropriate requirements exist to renew. Additionally, make a list of frequent destinations. Do you require public transportation? If so, is it accessible for specific health needs?

6. Seek Out Senior Activities

Discover what senior activities are available within the community. Social interaction is key to good health as well as successful aging. Be sure to schedule regular entertainment and continuing education as well.

7. Plan for Every Scenario

Create an advanced care plan with loved ones. End-of-life issues and funeral services are difficult to discuss, but they are a necessary preparation.

8. Contact David York Agency for Professional Care

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, please contact us at 718.376.7755. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Small Changes that Make Aging-In-Place at Home Easy

Aging at home is more desirable than moving to assisted living. This is called Aging-In-Place. In fact, the AARP reports that 90% of seniors plan to age at home. However, most senior homes are not equipped for the comfort, convenience, and safety of the elderly. So, how can you or your loved one achieve a senior-friendly home?

Aging at home senior riding his stairlift with a cane in home setting.

Fortunately, floor-to-ceiling renovations are not necessary. Instead, a few small changes will go a long way to improving senior quality of life and relieving pressure on home healthcare workers.

Consider these important tips for home modifications that make aging at home easy:

 

Safety, Security, and Aging at Home

Seniors are more likely than younger people to experience falls and accidents. As such, preparing to age at home requires special attention for safety and security.

Start by tackling lighting. Sufficient lighting makes a big difference for seniors experiencing diminished eyesight. Seniors need two or three times as much light in order to see, so the addition of light fixtures and wide windows is recommended. Make sure that desks, tables and sewing machines have task lighting available. Also, consider repainting dark rooms in light, glare-free colors.

Remove throw rugs and obstacles that could cause a fall. Minimize slipping by treating non-carpeted areas with non-slip sealant. If feasible, consider swapping hardwood and tile floors for carpeting.

Don’t forget the outside of your home! Add outdoor lighting, including guide lights along paths, and clear shrubs and clutter from paths, decks, and patios.

Also, consider installing an alarm or “panic” system that allows the homeowner to call for help in the event of a fall.

 

Mobility and Convenience

If you use a walker or a wheelchair, you may need to widen your doorways. A cheaper and easier alternative is re-hanging doors with swing clear hinges. These allow the door to open all the way and make standard doors wheelchair accessible quickly and easily. Also, if your house is multi-level, you may want to install a chairlift. Finally, replace doorknobs with lever handles and standard light switches with rockers, both of which are much easier for arthritic hands.

The kitchen and bathroom are particular areas of concern in terms of convenience and safety. Step-in showers are best for seniors. A walk-in tub is another alternative, but is often more expensive. Add grab bars to showers and toilets for additional support.

In the kitchen, induction cooktops may be better than traditional stoves since there are no open flames and dishwashers with drawers reduce the need to bend down. Ensure the most-used cooking and dining supplies are in cabinets as close to eye level as possible.

 

Self-Reliance

If you are making home modifications for a senior relative, remember: they know what they need. The goal should not be to reduce their independence but to enhance it, reducing their reliance on you and home health aides while aging in their own home.

The most important thing to remember is that small changes can be better than larger ones. In many cases there are cheap and easy options that can alleviate small stresses. Even small things like “reachers” or talking clocks can make a huge difference to you or your relative’s quality of life.

 

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us online or by phone at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide how to provide your loved ones with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.