Aging in Place is a term used to describe the lifestyle choice for staying in your home, safely and independently, for as long as possible. Successful aging in place includes safety elements, health and support systems. Its a description of how you want to live today and in the future. Being proactive and making decisions to get to that goal makes the transition of aging easier and less costly.
By 2030, 1 in 5 Americans will be over the age of 65. Approximately 10,000 people are retiring a day, starting to receive Medicare and Social Security benefits right away. Not everyone will retire at 65, and some won’t live that long, but that’s a sobering number for the effect on these services. Some people are choosing to stay in their homes for as long as possible because of finances. The average cost of living in an assisted facility in Bellingham Wa is $4,500 / month, more if there are two people. Some choose to stay at home because they are near friends and like the neighborhood. Whatever the motivation, aging in your home is easier when you plan ahead.
New projects are the easiest to create plans for the changing needs we’re all going to face. Building a single story house is the best start. When that isn’t feasible, including elements like an on-level entry, and a ground floor room that can be converted into a bedroom/living space are ways to make the home easily accessible. When starting fresh, using universal design for the bathroom and kitchen are easy include in the program of the new home.
Existing homes are more of a challenge, but some safety and comfort changes can be easy and inexpensive. Door knobs, lighting and adding non-slip tape to rugs are just a few inexpensive improvements. Adding ramps and hand railings will add to the cost. More complicated the retrofit, like kitchens and bathrooms, increase the financial requirements. If the changes need to be made right away because someone has fallen, the price and complexity go up. When there is a strategy in place, much of this work can be done over time.
Good health and fitness are fundamental to increasing the success of aging in place. Strength to continue your daily routines is essential. Balance and core strength help you stay on your feet safely. Cardio work for a healthy heart and endurance helps keep you independent. Exercising regularly is a key part of aging well and staying in your home. Following a workout plan that supports your lifestyle is essential.
Choosing to stay safe and independent in your home is the first step to successful aging in place. Learning about options and creating strategies to prepare for transitions is the next. Being proactive and investing in your future well-being is how to accomplish your goals.
Want more information? I’ll work with you to make your home more accessible and safe. Email me so we can talk about your needs and how to achieve your goals.
Stay Safe, Be Independent