Choosing to age in place is a monumental decision, and it can bring many benefits to seniors who choose to do so. According to the AARP, nearly 90% of adults over 65 wish to remain in their homes as they grow older. From being happier in the comfort of familiar surroundings to having more independence, the number of seniors who opt to age in place is growing.
The concept of choosing to age at home, rather than in a retirement or senior living community, may sound simple in theory; continuing to live at home doesn’t sound any different from what we’ve done our entire lives, right? In actuality, aging in place requires extra attention. It comes with health care changes, the potential of isolation, and life changes.
Senior Choice at Home, a comprehensive membership-based, life plan at-home program for healthy and proactive older adults, has compiled the top tips for seniors to incorporate into their plans to ensure a successful pathway to aging. From home modifications to food delivery services, consider these tools when aging in place:
A safe space
One of the most important parts of aging at home is making sure that your home is equipped to prevent injuries. Home modifications can range from large to small, but a few to consider are installing more lighting in stairwells and hallways, installing safety rails in bathrooms and making sure that no cords are lying across the floor in heavy traffic areas. Ensure your safety by receiving a home safety assessment.
Food, fitness and fun
For seniors living in a senior living community, exercise, events and meals are easily accessible. For seniors aging at home, getting the proper nutrients, exercise and socialization requires an extra step. Luckily, there are available resources to fulfill these requirements. Meal preparation and delivery services offer nutritious meals that are specifically designed for seniors. Grocery delivery services, such as Instacart, are also available and easy to use for seniors who would prefer to receive their groceries on their doorstep, rather than make their way to their local grocery store.
To stay active, consider joining exercise groups. Many gyms such as the YMCA offer fitness classes for older adults that benefit seniors with arthritis and poor balance. If you prefer home exercise, consider fitness videos on YouTube, such as yoga, Tai Chi or a low-intensity dance class. Fitness classes are a great way for older adults to socialize, but they can also socialize by going to local events, such as movies at the local library, joining friends and family for a meal outside of the house or getting together with friends or neighbors for game nights. Socialization promotes positivity, is mentally stimulating and reduces isolation.
Become tech savvy
In our ever-changing world, technology has become the face of activities as we know it. For seniors with children or grandchildren, technology is an easy way for them to stay connected. Take the time to learn how to use platforms like Zoom, FaceTime or Google Meet so you can spend time with your loved ones through the convenience of your smart devices. If you need help, visit a neighbor or a younger family member and enlist their help.
Establish a care plan
Above all, the most important aspect of aging at home is curating a health care plan. Begin with a standard assessment that covers your physical, mental and emotional needs and all health conditions you may have, regardless of whether they are minor or chronic. Meet with health care professionals if further health services are required, such as weekly physical therapy. Additionally, do research on community resources, such as senior transportation services or senior centers, and research in-home services, such as a cleaning service or companion service if necessary.
Through Senior Choice at Home, members are provided with resources to make their aging journey as beneficial as possible. Personal care coordinators support members in a variety of ways including performing home safety assessments, support and coordination for health and wellness services and by serving as a personal advocate if necessary. Members join the program when they are healthy and independent, but as future needs arise, they can also receive companion and homemaker services, home health aides, live-in companions and the option to transition into an assisted living or memory care community. All these services are offered by compassionate and vetted expert health professionals who will guide and support seniors as needed.
To learn more about Senior Choice at Home, please visit SeniorChoiceatHome.com/Benefits.