Many seniors want to age in place, and there are certainly benefits to doing so. Remaining in your home as you age can provide a sense of security, comfort, and independence. Plus, aging in place often proves to be more cost-effective than relocating to an assisted living facility or nursing home. However, before making the decision to age in place, it's important to do some planning.
But what does that really mean? And is it the right choice for everyone? Let's explore.
What Does It Mean to Age in Place?
The term "aging in place" typically refers to remaining in one's own home and community as they age, rather than relocating to a retirement community or nursing home. However, aging in place doesn't just mean staying put; it also means making modifications to your home so that it can continue to meet your needs as you age. These modifications might include installing grab bars in the bathroom, widening doorways, or adding ramps and stair lifts.
One of the main benefits of aging in place is that it allows you to stay in the familiar surroundings of your own home and community. This can provide a great sense of comfort and security, especially as our cognitive abilities begin to decline with age. Additionally, aging in place usually costs less than moving to a retirement community or nursing home. However, it's important to note that the upfront costs of making modifications to your home can be significant.
Should You Age in Place?
The decision of whether or not to age in place is a personal one that depends on a number of factors. Some things you may want to consider are:
-Your health and cognitive abilities
-Your financial situation
-Your support network
-The accessibility of your home
-Your desire for social interaction.
If you're trying to decide whether aging in place is right for you, it can be helpful to speak with a geriatric care manager. These professionals can help you assess your individual needs and make recommendations accordingly.
Here are a few things seniors should keep in mind if they want to age in place successfully.
- Home Modifications: Create a "forever home" plan.
As we age, our homes need to evolve with us. Think about the changes you'll need to make to your home as you age and start making those changes now.
This may involve something as simple as adding grab bars in the shower or widening doorways to accommodate a wheelchair—or it could require more extensive renovations, such as installing an elevator or building a first-floor master suite.
No matter what type of modification is needed, it's important to plan for it well in advance. Not only will this ensure that the work is completed before it's absolutely necessary, but it will also give you time to save up for any associated costs.
- Finances: Get your financial affairs in order.
Aging in place successfully requires more than just physical modifications to your home; it also requires financial preparation. If you plan on remaining in your home for the long term, you need to make sure you have enough money saved up to cover any unexpected expenses—such as costly home repairs or extended periods of illness—that may arise.
As we age, it's important to make sure our finances are in order so that our loved ones don't have to deal with any surprises after we're gone. Make sure you have a will and that all your financial accounts are up-to-date with your most current contact information. You should also think about whether or not you need long-term care insurance.
Additionally, if you think you may need assistance with things like cooking, cleaning, and transportation at some point down the road, you'll need to factor those potential costs into your budget as well.
- Community Support: Stay socially active and engaged with your community.
Aging gracefully at home also necessitates having a strong support system in place—both inside and outside the home. If possible, try to build relationships with your neighbors so that someone is always nearby if you need help. In addition, look into community resources—such as senior centers, Meals on Wheels programs, and transportation services—that can help make life a little easier (and safer) as you age in place.
Aging in place doesn't mean isolate yourself at home—be sure to stay socially active and engaged with others, both young and old. Join social clubs and participate in activities that interest you. Volunteer your time and talents to causes and organizations you care about. Doing so will not only make you feel good, but it will also help create a sense of community around you as people get to know you better.
When done right, aging in place can be a great experience—one that allows seniors to maintain their independence and live comfortably in their own homes for many years to come. However, proper planning is essential for ensuring a successful aging-in-place experience.
One way to fund your age-in-place retirement plan is with a reverse mortgage. If you are 62 or older and reside in your own home, you might be qualified for a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage is a loan that allows you to tap into the equity in your home. The money you receive from a reverse mortgage can be used for any purpose, including paying for medical expenses, making home improvements, or supplementing your income.
At Simple Reverse Lending, we are reverse mortgage loan specialists and are here to assist you as you explore your options and whether a reverse mortgage loan solution is right for you.
By taking the time to modify their homes accordingly, prepare financially for unexpected costs, and cultivate supportive relationships both inside and outside the house, seniors like you can set themselves up for a smooth transition into their golden years.