Aging in Place
Aging in place is a term used to describe a person living in their home of choice for as long as they are able, as they age. This includes being able to have any services or other support brought into their home they might need over time as their needs change.
Aging brings changes to us all. As a person begins their aging in place experience, it is important for them to consider and plan for the changes that will happen to them and what impacts these changes will have on their lives. As we age, our bodies and capabilities change. Examples of changes you might experience are:
- Reduced vision
- Decreased muscle strength or endurance
- Reduced mental processing capabilities
- Increased risk of falls due to balance
- Increased risk of illness
- Reduced hearing
- Decreased mobility
These changes happen to most everyone in one form or another. Knowing that this is the case and choosing to have a plan to age in place means you will have a greater chance to control your quality of life and independence.
The impact of these changes can be seen in the daily life of an older adult. While their physical capabilities lessen and needs change, this impacts many daily activities, such as:
- Getting around their home
- Driving safely
- Home upkeep
- Health maintenance
- Many others
Planning presents you with an opportunity to lessen the burden on your family by outlining how and where your want your needs to be met.
Deciding you wish to age in place means you are choosing:
- how you want to spend your retirement years
- how you want your home to be set up
- what your health care choices will be
- which types of assistance are right for you
- what your wishes are for major life events (sickness, housing transitions, financial decisions)
Making these choices gives you control over your independence, quality of life and dignity. Most importantly to note, aging in place does not mean you have to do everything yourself; that’s where the plan comes in. It means you get to plan how your needs are met, who meets them and when.