Establishing short term and long term housing goals can help families plan ahead for large moving or remodeling projects. It is best to consider changes to your home as early as possible in order to avoid situations where last minute decisions may wreak havoc on financial and emotional stability.
Today, individuals are fortunate to have many housing choices, including independent living, assisted living, active adult communities and the ability to continue living at home with assistance and safety modifications. Reorganizing, remodeling and redesign may also serve to make existing home environments comfortable for years to come. According to AARP, over 90% of older adults prefer to age in their own homes. Today, there are more agencies and tools available that can make your “stay at home” choice a safer and more achievable reality.
Staying at Home
Just as with our moving options, older adults need to evaluate their real needs, finances and community/caregiving resources and then formulate a “stay at home” plan.
If you or an older relative decides to stay in his/her own home or apartment but finds household tasks too overwhelming, or needs assistance with personal or health care issues, an array of home care support services are available in most communities. Contacting your local home health care agencies can help you obtain access to these services.
Aging In Place Ideas
Aging in place is a term describing modifications that can take place in your existing home to facilitate a long-term use even as your physical needs change. Here are some tips that can help.
- Install a shallow sink not more than 6″ deep.
- Use a hands free lever or faucet mounted on the side with a pull-out sprayer.
- Leave space beneath the sink to allow space for a wheelchair and cover with doors to improve the look.
- Use “D” shaped pulls and handles allowing people of all abilities to open and close doors easily.
- Adjust the toilet seat height by installing a seat extender.
- Consider a toilet/bidet combination for increased hygiene.
- Install bracing in walls around shower, tub and toilet to prepare for future grab bars.
- Grab bars will typically need to support 250 to 300 pounds.
- Install safety bars alongside bed to reduce the potential for falling.
- Have a working phone alongside your bed.
- Install a closet system to avoid clutter and the possibility of falling objects.
- Install motion sensor lighting for walkways allowing easier maneuvering during the evening.
While a change in an individual’s functionality often initiates a senior move, many folks simply decide they no longer want to stay in a home that is too large or requires a great deal of maintenance. Increasingly, older adults choose to move to a residential setting designed exclusively for seniors. This lifestyle choice provides a number of benefits such as safety, security, meal plans and health care services.
Fortunately, companies such as Caring Transitions work with closely with Senior Living Communities to help manage the entire move process from start to finish. There are also estate liquidation companies such as Estate Liquidators Hawaii who can help with your furniture and personal effects.
Whether you chose to age in place or move to a senior living community you can access over 50 service professionals and an array of information via KupunaWiki-Hawai‘i’s Senior Resource.
For more information on this, contact us.