aging in place
Aging in place is much more than being in an environment of choice as one gets older, it means home–a place where emotional and functional needs are met. Home is a foundation where family histories are created and rich memories have been woven from shared experiences. Your home contains a life-time of cherished objects that support identity and delight the senses. It’s also nestled in the community you’ve cultivated over the years; which is the center of those daily rituals you love so much. You plan to stay; it’s where you live.
you have increasing options as you age
The essence of home is to feel safe in an environment where you have the ability to control and enjoy your experiences. However, aging can lead to reduced physical abilities and loss of “environmental competence”,or, the ability to get around. Later in life that home you love can become difficult to maintain or even unsafe. The good news is that there’s a rapidly growing number of options to help you stay in the home you cherish. From basic home modifications, to emerging assistive technology that will amaze you, your home may actually serve to maintain independence by compensating for reduced functioning; as well as help the environment for future generations with “green” solutions.
Most seniors would prefer to age in place, but health and aging issues can prevent full access to the house. Raised thresholds and bathrooms represent fall risks, doorknobs become difficult to turn, and stairs are hard to climb. Seniors may feel trapped in certain areas of their homes, forcing them to consider moving when they don't want to do so.
Accessibility and safety can also become issues when an aging parent moves in with an adult child, prompting a need for home renovations. It can be difficult for a homeowner to determine what changes are needed and how they should be made.
In these situations, your SRES® may be able to refer you to an aging-in-place specialist who can evaluate your home, find problem areas, and suggest home modifications. Certified aging-in-place specialists have been trained in:
The unique needs of the older adult population
Aging-in-place home modifications
Common remodeling projects
Solutions to common barriers
The answer may be as easy as adding grab bars in bath areas, flattening thresholds, and installing brighter lighting and higher toilets. In other cases, significant remodeling may be required to overcome the challenges of two-story living. An aging-in-place specialist can advise on which changes will be most beneficial and suggest cost-effective approaches.