Is Aging in Place The Right Choice?
Updated: Oct 26
The matter of an aging person’s housing arrangements may be the single most important factor in determining the level of independence and quality of life they will have in their golden years. Aging in place has gained popularity as geriatric care management companies have continued to expand their services to ensure its sustainability, but the implications of it are important to understand when assisting an aging parent or relative in making the decision of whether to remain in their home or transition elsewhere. It’s crucial to remember that, even within the same age group, each person’s situation is different and the best choice for them will depend on a variety of factors, such as health, finances, and cognitive status. Determining the best option can be a stressful process, so we’ve decided to put together a list of questions to consider in order to put things in perspective.
What is your parent’s health condition and what level of care do they/will they need?
Unfortunately, much of an older person’s independence will be closely tied to their health. While some people can get by with occasional visits from helpful relatives to assist them with medical needs, others may require daily, or even constant, care and supervision by professionals. Because your parent’s condition is likely to change, it’s important to consult with their physician and develop a good understanding of the level of care they will require overtime and determine whether it’s possible to receive these services at home.
How reliably are they able to perform their activities of daily living?
Assessing your loved one’s ability to perform their basic activities of daily living, such as bathing, using the restroom, moving around the house, feeding themselves, dressing themselves, and remembering to take their medications, is crucial to determining whether they can live on their own. If you work with a geriatric care management company, they will also assess your parent’s ability to carry out less basic activities, such as shopping for food, scheduling and keeping appointments, driving or taking public transportation, etc. Defining these abilities will strongly factor into determining the best path for their living arrangements.
Is their own home safe for them?
With the previous questions in mind, you can determine whether your parent’s home is conducive to their life running as smoothly as they age. If not, your geriatric company can advise you on possible and appropriate home modifications. This will highly depend on their level of mobility, mental status, and more.
Is there someone they can live with?
Many people’s instinct is move in with them or a sibling. If this is the case, it’s important to have an honest and practical discussion on whether this is favorable, keeping in mind a realistic picture of your family’s schedules, space, and physical, mental, and financial ability to perform the needed care. Senior Steps can offer highly personalized advice on some great resources that may be available to you.
What can they afford and what are they eligible for?
Working with an experienced geriatric care manager is an excellent way to learn about services catering to the elderly in your community. Those will include facilities that provide in-home care professionals, food preparation, support groups, home repair, transportation, etc. Some of these services may be subsidized through a variety of community programs. The team at Senior Steps can help assess your loved one’s finances and assets, determine what insurance may cover and identify available community support programs.
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