Aging in place of the ideal situation for older adults. They can stay in their own homes and close to the people they love instead of moving into an impersonal group facility. Aging in place can be much more cost-effective than paying the thousands of dollars a month necessary for a room in a nursing home facility.
While the vast majority of older adults would prefer to age in place, many just hope that it will happen and take no concrete steps to ensure that they stay at home as they grow older. Advance planning will make aging in place a more realistic option for you during your golden years. What steps must you take to improve your chances of staying home while you age?
Be honest with yourself about your house
Do you have a two-story home with the laundry in the basement and the bedroom on the second floor? You may need to consider moving into a smaller house, like a ranch, for your retirement.
Minimizing risk factors for falls, like stairs, can make it easier for you to stay at home as you age. So can making changes to make everything from your doorknobs to your shower more accessible when you get older.
Think about your health care needs
One of the only ways for someone coping with serious medical issues later in life to continue living at home is with the direct support of a nursing professional who comes to their home daily.
Medicare won’t pay for skilled nursing support at your home, and paying for it out of pocket could be cost-prohibitive. Making financial moves now so that you can qualify for Medicaid if you need it later can help you have access to the resources you need to stay in your home.
Make arrangements with loved ones for medical and financial support
You could lose your ability to make your own decisions if someone else secures guardianship over you because of your declining health as you age.
Creating powers of attorney now that give people you trust the right to handle medical matters and pay your bills is a smart move. You can provide instructions so that they support you in your attempt to age in place rather than challenging it as a bad decision given your level of needs.
Thinking about whether you qualify for Medicaid and addressing other elder law concerns now will make it easier for you to enjoy the comfort of your own home as you age in place.