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How Seniors Can Safely and Successfully Age in Place

Beth Bowers

Beth currently lives in Shelby Township with her husband, Brian, and two kids, Sophie and Sawyer...

Beth currently lives in Shelby Township with her husband, Brian, and two kids, Sophie and Sawyer...

Mar 20 5 minutes read

We are pleased to share a guest blog with you today. Jim Vogel started ElderAction.org as a means to provide resources to seniors and to adult children and caregivers who are caring for senior parents. He is passionate about spreading awareness to improve senior living. 


How Seniors Can Safely and Successfully Age in Place

 Aging in place is becoming a well-known term for both seniors and those approaching retirement. According to a recent AARP survey, 76 percent of adults ages 50 and up would prefer to continue living in their homes as they age. Only 46 percent anticipate they will be able to do so, but this is where aging in place comes in. Safely and successfully aging in place requires the combination of home modifications, technology, and outside help to enable you to continue living in your home independently or semi-independently for as long as possible.

Benefits Go Beyond Your Home

Sure, the biggest benefit of aging in place is that you are able to continue living in your home, but it offers other advantages as well. Aging in place enables seniors to remain connected to their community, warding off feelings of loneliness and isolation. Remaining in your home also means you don’t have to go through the process of selling your home and parting ways with memories and treasured items. While aging in place requires home modifications, in the end, these changes are far less expensive than long-term care. CNBC estimates that home modifications can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000, depending on how extensive they are, but the yearly cost of a nursing home stay averages $85,776 to $97,452. Aging in place offers many benefits, but you need to be honest about your health as well.

Make Many Modifications

Aging in place renovations are absolutely necessary if you want to make your home a safe space to live and thrive. The changes you make are dependent on your current level of mobility, and future changes can always be made should a sudden need arise. Start by making small changes, such as adding home mechanisms that are easy to operate if and when mobility is impaired. Replacing doorknobs with levers or updating light switches to rocker panels can make a huge difference. Flooring is an important area to pay attention to, as it can be the source of falls and impair your movement should you use mobility devices. Opt for smooth, soft, trip-resistant flooring, such as linoleum or rubber.

Go through each room in your home to assess where you need to make changes. For example, you could add grab bars or a walk-in shower in the bathroom, and lower cabinets and add lighting in the kitchen. Small changes can be done yourself or with the help of a loved one, but extensive or difficult modifications will require a professional. Find the right help by using an online search tool to find qualified, trustworthy professionals in your area.

Take Advantage of Technology and Outside Help

Technology makes many areas of life easier, and living at home is one of them. There are various monitoring systems and tech gadgets that can help seniors live independently as well as give their loved ones peace of mind. If you are prone to falls or would feel safer knowing help is always nearby, perhaps you’d be interested in wearing an emergency pendant on your wrist or neck. Your loved one might prefer using sensors to alert them when you are moving (or not moving) about, helping to reassure them that you are going about your day as normal.

Something as simple as a desktop computer or laptop with a video camera can be a great way to keep you connected with friends and loved ones, as well as help them check in with you and chat. In addition to technology, you can make life easier by using outside assistance. There are in-home care services available to help you with just about any task, including running errands, cleaning, cooking, personal care, and transportation. From a housekeeper to grocery/meal delivery to a home health aide, the help is there for you to use.

Aging in place is a dream many retirees and seniors have, but making that goal a reality takes some work. Modify your home appropriately, make technology work for you, and make use of all available help, both hired and from loved ones. In doing so, you can age in place safely and successfully.


Image via Unsplash

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