Multi-generational family homes do exist, but they are far less common than they were years ago. Most households contain only one or possibly two generations of family members, with children usually moving out as soon as they achieve financial independence.
Although everyone benefits from privacy and control over their own household, older adults sometimes find themselves in a difficult position as they age. Living independently can sometimes become dangerous. The older people become, the greater the risk of falling or having another significant medical incident while alone.
While the solution to these concerns used to be assisted living facilities, more families and older adults have started to turn toward solutions that allow retired adults to age in place. Careful planning, such as adjusting your finances to qualify for Medicaid, is often necessary for those who hope to try aging in place.
Consider what kind of support you will need
Ideally, older adults will have younger family members, like children, nearby to check in on them sometimes. Family members and other community supports, like volunteers from churches, can help older adults accomplish tasks like flipping their mattresses, installing a window air conditioner or anything else that requires heavy lifting or ladders.
Beyond that, as you grow older, you may need help with more basic tasks around the house, like cooking and cleaning. Eventually, nursing help may become necessary, especially if you or your spouse has Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes or other medical conditions.
Finally, you should look at your house itself and determine if there are ways to make it more accessible. Switching out circular knobs for lever-style knobs is a good idea. Investing in lift chairs, walk-in showers and other accessibility features can make your home a better place for you to live as you grow older.
Make sure you will have the resources that you need
Skilled in-home nursing support requires a lot of financial resources or Medicaid for most older adults. Planning to let you qualify for Medicaid can ensure that you have the home support you need to continue living independently instead of going into an expensive nursing home.
The sooner you start planning for your future needs and budgeting for the changes and services you’ll require, the easier it will be for you to enjoy your golden years in your own home instead of a massive and impersonal facility.