Aging In Place

3/22/2019 | By Melissa Frank

As you approach retirement and prepare for the next chapter in your life, there are undoubtedly tons of questions on your mind. Which type of care is right for me? Do I need assisted living? How will I afford my medical bills?

Don’t let these worries overwhelm you; we’re here to help walk you through all your retirement health care options so that you can find the right solution for your unique wants and needs. We’ll discuss how to age independently for the seniors who’d prefer to remain in the comfort of their homes during the aging process.

What is independent living?

Independent living refers to a way of life for those who have recently entered retirement or are nearing retirement age, but would prefer to age at home or within a designated residential community. These seniors enjoy being active, social, and independent, but they don’t need much help with daily tasks. We can help you search for businesses that cater to seniors – including restaurants, entertainment, shopping, and transportation – so you can continue to enjoy your freedom and the activities you love. Living independently allows you to go to the nail salon with your friends, get a haircut, or attend a movie – although these are all still possible with assisted care, as well!

Is independent living right for me?

Ask yourself questions and see which of the following statements apply to you:

·                I like living in my own home·                I feel isolated in my own home
·                I am still relatively healthy·                I need help with bathing and dressing
·                I remember to take my medicine·                I sometimes mix up my medicine
·                I have nearby family or friends·                I do not have assistance close by
·                I feel safe at home·                I no longer feel secure at home
·                I am unwilling to relocate·                I don’t mind downsizing

If you align more with the sentiments on the left, you might be a great fit for independent living. However, if you’re ever concerned about keeping your home safe, have trouble with everyday tasks, or need help managing your prescriptions, then assisted care might be a better option for your health and safety. Whether you age at home or in a facility, it’s still incredibly important to have a medical alert system that can call for assistance after an unexpected accident or sudden emergency.

Is my house fitted to age independently?

Seniors who prefer to remain at home need to make sure that their residence has been retrofitted with all the right safety upgrades that can enhance the homeowner’s quality of life and improve the security of their health. Some retirement remodeling projects to consider include:

  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Stair lift chairs
  • Widened doors
  • Hand rails
  • Non-slip flooring

Any installation or upgrade that makes it easier to move around and complete tasks should be considered. Not sure how you can afford these renovations, the cost of home care assistance, and/or increasing medical bills? If your retirement savings aren’t enough to comfortably cover your living expenses and renovation requirements, you may be able to find financing by tapping into the equity in your home. A reverse mortgage loan converts the equity in your home into disposable income that can be used to finance all sorts of purchases, including previous mortgages, future car payments, and much more.

What are my other options?

When aging at home and living independently is no longer a viable option, it’s in you and your family’s interest to consider alternative options that can offer better peace of mind. Additional options you should explore include:

  • Adult Day Care: loved ones are watched over for a scheduled period of time
  • Assisted Living Facilities: for persons who do not require nursing home care
  • Home Companion Care: home companions help disabled seniors with regular household tasks while providing companionship
  • Hospice Care Agencies: provide relief to terminally ill patients to ensure comfort and convenience while attending to the emotional needs of family members
  • Rehabilitation Care: short term treatment to help recovery from injury or illness once the patient can no longer stay in the hospital
  • Senior Housing: retirement communities offer various levels of care to seniors
  • Skilled Nursing Care: also known as nursing homes, these facilities have at least one registered nurse on staff at all time to provide medical attention

There are many different healthcare options available for retirees that you should discuss with your family. Use Seniors Guide as a valuable resource to navigate all your future planning.

Melissa Frank