If you’re determining the next steps for elderly loved ones, you may want to consider aging in place. Aging in place is defined as remaining in a community-based dwelling during one’s late years. The home may be where the individual has lived during adulthood or be a downsized space. Either way, it fosters their independence and autonomy in their environment.

Studies report that 90% of seniors prefer to stay in their homes as they age. So, it’s important to support them in their decision. Aging in place promotes life satisfaction, improves quality of life, and boosts self-esteem. This option also builds strong bones within the entire community. 

However, it may be inappropriate if your family member is homebound or needs assistance due to a chronic illness or disease. For those who don’t require a consistent, high level of care, aging in place may be highly beneficial. 

image of two seniors aging in place
Senior man helping senior woman to stand

What Is Aging In Place?

To truly understand aging in place, you need to recognize the emotional and physical benefits seniors gain by remaining in their own homes. Specifically, living at home preserves your loved one’s independence and bolsters their mental health. 

More importantly, it allows seniors to maintain control over their lives. For example, seniors can retain access to their basic needs and amenities, such as food, toiletries, and laundry. As a result, they remain confident in navigating their environment with minimal intervention. 

In contrast, seniors in a nursing home or assisted living facility must rely on outside sources for care. Those unable to live alone may suffer from a loss of self-control. Staying at home while aging helps them further develop:

Is Aging at Home for You?

As a relative of someone who’s aging, it may be challenging to determine what’s appropriate for their future. To assist with making the right decision, here are several steps you can follow:

  1. Start A Conversation

Having a discussion with your loved one about their needs is essential. It’s important to ask those hard questions, such as

  • Are you able to walk without help?
  • Can you cook, shower, and get dressed on your own? 

You should take note of any changes in their living space. For instance, they may require additional assistance if they struggle to be mobile, are at high risk of falling, or have garbage piling up. 

  1. Consult A Medical Professional 

One of the best ways to choose the best level of care is to have a medical professional evaluate them. They will determine if your loved one can age in place or whether they need at-home accommodations. 

You can begin the next steps if the doctor gives them a green light to age in place.  

  1. Decide Their Level Of Support 

Once you have had that difficult conversation and have been checked by a doctor, you can figure out what’s most appropriate. Suppose the doctor recommends they seek a higher level of care. In that case, you should consider other options like assisted living or a nursing home, which involve help with daily living activities. 

However, aging in place can come with resources that promote their independence while offering additional help. There can be advocacy groups, senior care products, or services, which include:

  • Transportation
  • Meal/laundry delivery
  • Day programs
  • Errand services 
  • Companionship
  1. Make Necessary Accommodations

You can make necessary modifications based on your family member’s needs (i.e., shower chair, medical alert bracelet, assistive seating). Making these simple changes can give you peace of mind to know they are safe living alone. 

How To Modify Your Home For Aging In Place

You can make several home modifications when aging in place to guarantee their safety. 

  • Kitchen Renovation

As seniors age, their kitchen appliances, countertops, and cabinets may no longer be ideal locations for easy access. Any changes made would significantly improve their ability to navigate their space. 

  • Shower and Bathtub Upgrades

If the bathtub is unsafe, you can install a walk-in shower with handles and a chair to provide additional support. Those who cannot afford a renovation can purchase a bathtub transfer bench to help them enter and exit without injury.

  • Flooring Modifications

You can also consider changing the floor to improve mobility with age. Namely, you can check for gaps in tiles that may cause accidents or change to short-fiber carpeting to minimize tripping. 

  • Assistive Technology 

To monitor seniors, you can install monitoring systems that provide

medical alerts and have home/activity monitoring. These systems link to smart devices that allow family and owners access in emergencies. You can also use voice-activated devices for:

  • Automated lighting
  • Assistance with two-way conversations
  • Using audio-to-speech transcription to help hard-of-hearing seniors communicate 
  • Setting appointment reminders
  • Making calls to friends and family
  • Ordering groceries and household products 

Rely On Coral Senior Care Consultants For Aging Services

If you’re unsure if aging in place is appropriate for your loved one, Coral Senior Care Consultants can help! My Coral Senior Care Consultants are a team of experienced senior care advisors and social workers dedicated to serving older adults and their families. 

We will help seniors age safely and transition into in-home care or the retirement community. Our Coral Senior Care Consultants can assist with narrowing down the intimidating amount of home care options in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area. 

Remember, you don’t have to do this alone. We will be there to support you every step of the way. Contact us today to speak with one of our experts or with any questions!