Living at Home as You Age
Not surprisingly, the majority of people would prefer to continue living at home as they age. In fact, according to an AARP survey, 89% of those over the age of 50 said they would like to stay in their residence as long as possible.
Chances are you feel the same, especially if you have lived in your current home for many years. The good news is that it is often possible to continue living at home, even when dealing with limitations brought on by advancing age. Here are some tips to help you stay in your own home as long as you can.
Modify Your Home
The more you prepare ahead, the better your chances of being able to continue living at home, even if an accident or illness causes a sudden change in your circumstances.
Eliminate tripping hazards.
Remove throw rugs and make sure that you have adequate lighting. You may want to install motion-activated lights, especially on the path from your bedroom to the bathroom. Add grab bars in your shower and next to the toilet. For more suggestions on avoiding fall risks, see our article, “Fall Risks in Your Own Home.”
Plan in advance for changes in mobility.
If your budget allows for it, start on renovations ahead of time so that, in the event that you need to use a wheelchair or a walker, your home will be ready. A few things to consider:
- Widen doorways.
- Replace outside stairways with ramps.
- Install a walk-in shower.
- Make sure that there is a bedroom and a bathroom on the first floor.
If you are considering taking on some home renovations, you may want to talk to a Certified Aging in Place Specialist who can recommend specific improvements to help make your home ready for your long-term needs.
Get the Help You Need
You may be able to continue living at home, even if there are certain tasks that have become difficult for you to accomplish on your own. Ideally, you could ask friends, neighbors, or relatives to pitch in, but if they are not able to help out, there are other options available. You can get more information on the specific services offered in your area by checking with your Local Area Agency on Aging or your local senior center.
- Personal Care. If family or friends are unable to help you with tasks like bathing, washing your hair, or getting dressed, you can hire a trained aid to assist you for a short time each day, or you may be able to split the time between family and hired help.
- Housekeeping and yard work. Consider hiring a housekeeper to visit weekly (or more often if needed) to help out with cleaning or laundry. Local teens may be willing to do some yard work and are often much more affordable than a professional landscaping service. Many grocery stores will accept orders over the phone or online and deliver them to your home. And some dry cleaners offer pick-up and delivery service.
- Meals. Many housekeepers or personal care assistants will also prepare meals. If you have family in the area, they may be willing to bring you a healthy meal a few times a week, or you could look into a meal delivery plan.
- Remembering Medications. If you’re having trouble remembering to take your medication, there are devices and apps (if you have a smart phone or tablet) that can help. A more simple solution would be to use a pillbox that allows you (or a helper) to set out your medication for an entire week.
If home is where your heart is, then you’ll want to do all you can to stay there as long as possible. With a few adjustments and some well-deserved assistance, you may be able to stay right where you are well into your senior years!
Visit the Davis Community’s Assisted Living in Wilmington NC
If you or loved one are no longer capable of living a safe, independent lifestyle, then call the Davis Community today at 910.686.7195 or simply complete and submit our online information request form. We provide exceptional assisted living in Wilmington NC with a strong and supportive environment where your loved one will feel welcomed and part of an active community. Get to know the difference today – schedule a visit to the Davis Community!