Chicago’s Northshore is made up of 30% of people aged 50 and up with many considering the option to age in place. Aging in place has grown in popularity over the years. According to a 2019 AARP survey, 3 out of 4 adults aged 50 and up desire to age in place and 24% plan to relocate. If you are one of those people who are wanting to age in place, here is a 10 step plan to help you successfully stay in your home.
- Set up a meeting- The first thing you will need is to create a network or what Ann Carson, author of Circles of Care: How to Set Up Quality Home Care for Our Elders, calls a “circle of care”. This network should include family, friends, caregivers, neighbors, doctors, or anyone else who will be involved with your care as you age.
- Get a medical consultation- Take the time to visit with you or your loved one’s physician and discuss what to expect over the coming years.
- Observe a daily routine- Identifying patterns of behavior can help plan what household tasks need help with. Planning activities and positive routines is another way to identify any other tasks that will need help with in the future.
- Contact an area agency- Contact an agency like Homewatch CareGivers to learn about your options for care and what types of services you may be using.
- Tour the home- Tour the home to get an idea where potential risks or hazards may be. Senior Home Safety Specialists is a resource for trained professionals to assess the home. This is also a good time to make note of any future repairs or updates.
- Review transportation- Develop a plan for when driving is no longer an option. This can be a sensitive subject, as most people see driving as freedom or independence. Learn about rideshare options like Uber or Lyft.
- Talk about money- Although money can be a touchy subject, this is the time to open up. Have a detailed conversation to understand what resources are available to cover any future needs. Don’t forget to calculate in-home care, travel, or any updates needed for the home. Most importantly, set up a financial power of attorney for when you or your loved one are no longer capable of managing finances.
- Reassess regularly- At the beginning of this process take notes about the regular routine, activities, medications, and home condition. Make sure you also take a physical, mental and emotional evaluation. Every 6 months revisit your notes and look for any changes to take note of or address.
- Make a contingency plan- Create a backup plan when aging in place becomes more difficult or no longer viable. Identify in-home care services or local services that can assist in the transition.
- Make time for joyful activities- Remember the reason why you are going through this effort. It’s so that you or your loved one can continue to live a happy, full life. You can help by keeping up with hobbies, exercise, socialization, and staying connected with family and friends.
With 3 in 10 adults reporting feelings of isolation and loneliness, staying connected within the community and reaching out to your “circle of care” can help you successfully age in place. Enjoy the home where you made all your memories and enjoy the life you worked so hard to build.