What is Aging in Place?

If you have started researching elder care, you may have heard the term “aging in place,” but you may still be confused as to what it means. In the simplest of terms, it refers to a person living in their own residence for as long as they can, as they age. Specifically, it is used to describe when someone can have the proper services that they need in their life  at home while still maintaining a steady quality of life. 

If you or a loved one chooses to live at home and age in place, the goal should be to either maintain or improve the current quality of life. A way to do that is to have a good plan in place that covers yourself, your home, finances and other things as soon as you can. The individual aging in place should then try to keep this plan going for as long as is realistically possible.

Be aware that aging in place is a choice, and it means that you are choosing how you want to spend your retirement years, how you want your home to be set up, what your healthcare choices will be, which types of assistance are right for you, and finally what your wishes are for major life events (such as sickness, housing transitions, or financial decisions). There are a great many things to consider when thinking about aging in place, and it’s a topic best discussed with family or other trusted friends that can help you to reach the decision that best suits your particular situation.

By making those choices ahead of time, it can give either you or the elder in your life control over their independence, quality of life, and dignity. Most importantly, though, aging in place doesn’t mean you have to do absolutely everything on your own. That’s why making a plan is important because when the time comes, you can quickly decide how your needs are met, who will meet them, and when.

It’s also important to note that aging in place isn’t the right choice for everybody. If you haven’t retired yet, you’ve still got time to check your options, think things over and then come to a decision on what you want to do. If you’re already retired, you can take time to build that plan we mentioned above that will help to keep you on track and in control of your life. It can also help you to better be able to deal with any issues that may arise over time, and help to ease the burdens that may be placed on your loved ones later in life.

Those who are currently taking care of an elderly parent can benefit from it too. The best way to help is to work with the elder to make sure his or her needs are being met properly and consistently, and that their wishes are being respected as much as possible.