Today, the idea of aging in place (also known as aging at home) is gaining a lot of significance, especially among the older population. According to the National Council on Aging, nine out of ten senior citizens prefer to continue living in their own homes over the next five to ten years. Many such seniors based their reason on their need to be among people they already know. This makes a case for aging in place relatively easy. However, there are a lot of challenges and necessary changes that should be taken care of.
If you are concerned about what difficulties you or your loved ones might face, or the mistakes that might be made when aging in place, this article will help you deal with them in advance.
- Not having an early discussion with loved ones about your preferences
Many adults wait until it is a little too late to have a conversation with their loved ones about their future needs and preferences- creating a lack of planning. Planning helps keep track of your preferences and needs while ensuring they are met. It is better to discuss your living arrangement preferences ahead of time so that your loved ones can help you live the comfortable life you want in your old age.
2. Not considering possible lifestyle changes
The unfortunate truth is that, as you grow older, your body is no longer able to do certain things it used to – making the option to live independently in your old age inadvisable. Some people try to cope by turning down any form of help offered to them, whether in tools or services. For many adults, the mere thought of any kind of senior care makes them feel embarrassed and helpless – which should not be the case. Rather than being fixed on your preference of aging in place, accept your lifestyle challenges, and seek other options that would be beneficial to you.
3. Not making preparations for various possibilities
Almost nothing is certain in life, and disasters may strike at any time. Unfortunately, many adults fail to plan and make preparations for different possible scenarios. This lack of planning can bring more stress due to knee-jerk reactions to unexpected situations.
Take time to write down all the possible ‘what ifs.’ Doing this should cover possibilities such as who will take care of you if you lose your ability to decide for yourself or lose mobility. Next, create a plan of action for all those possibilities with the help of your loved ones.
4. Not having financial plans
Studies show that many American adults do not have any financial plan in place for old age. This makes the issue of money more complicated when they need their finances the most. Many also fail to create a will or have a power of attorney in place. It is best to seek a financial planner’s advice concerning how to handle money to be financially stable during old age. Fortunately, making such plans is now easier than ever, thanks to the digital age. Alternatively, you can also sit down with your loved ones to go through what your options are.
5. Not being proactive with in-home security
We have already mentioned how disaster can strike at any time without warning. Unfortunately, most adults have not put any proactive measures in place for accidents at home. For example, as we grow older, our bodies can no longer handle falls and other accidents at home very well. It is essential to take proactive steps when it comes to your safety at home. For example, you should take the time to identify any form of potential hazard and provide solutions. Ensure that you have the right tools at home, you’re always well clothed, and can move about in your home with ease.
6. Relying on just one person
It is not uncommon for most adults to put their trust into only one person to take care of them as they age. As trustworthy as a person may be, it is always harmful to rely solely on them to solve all your problems. This either puts a lot of burden on this one person or leaves the adult with no one else to rely on should that one person be unavailable.
This is why it is essential to try to be as self-sufficient as you can be, even when you have someone around to give you a helping hand. While this will take a lot of effort, it will also help you build the knowledge and skills required to live alone in your home. Where possible, also have some family members or friends around to help you.
This is a collaborative post.