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In the past, it was common for seniors to transition to a nursing home or assisted living facility to get the care they needed as they got older. However, in more recent years, more elderly individuals have opted to remain in their homes. If you've decided on so-called "aging in place," there are some steps you can take to streamline the process.
Set up your home to accommodate aging in place
As people get older, they tend to experience some level of physical decline—such as sarcopenia, a natural deterioration of muscle mass that comes with age. You may notice diminishing strength, balance, and coordination. It's important that your house or apartment is set up to accommodate these changes.
According to Reuters, "one-floor living" is ideal for seniors who want to age in place. If your house has multiple levels, try to set it up so the essential rooms, like the bedroom and kitchen, are all on the ground floor. Alternatively, you might invest in a chair lift to help you up the stairs in the future.
CNBC provides a roundup of additional home remodeling projects that can help make a space safer for seniors. For example, you might replace a bathtub that has a high ledge with a walk-in shower with a seat. Smaller changes in the home might include installing more lighting and adding grab bars to prevent falls.
Consider current and future lifestyle changes to promote safety and comfort
Changing your property may not be enough to accommodate comfortable aging in place. Lifestyle alterations are also often necessary. At-Home Services provides tips on how seniors can change their lives for the better, such as tapping into the power of technologies like smart doorbells and tablets.
When considering lifestyle changes, take a holistic approach that goes beyond the home. Take driving, for instance. Many seniors lose confidence behind the wheel due to age-related health issues like deteriorating eyesight. If this applies to you, you might consider selling your car and using senior-friendly transportation services instead.
Keep in mind that your lifestyle needs will change as you get older. While you may not need to make modifications—like quitting driving—immediately, it's worth keeping them in mind for the future. At least once per year, revisit this topic and ask yourself what lifestyle changes you might make that will allow you to more comfortably enjoy your golden years.
Make a list of tasks you'd like to outsource to enhance quality of life
Aging can make everyday tasks like doing the laundry or mowing the lawn more tedious. If you find these jobs are getting increasingly burdensome, consider outsourcing them. This will not only
allow you to save energy, but it will also free up your time, ensuring you can make the most of your retirement.
Lawn care is one great example. Jobs like pushing a lawnmower, raking leaves, and pruning trees and hedges require significant physical strength. Use an online platform like Angi to find lawn care professionals in your area. You can vet experts based on factors like price and customer reviews.
Grocery shopping and meal preparation are also chores that can become more time-consuming and less enjoyable with age. If this applies to you, consider getting a meal delivery service. Healthline offers a list of senior-friendly options, including those that deliver a meal kit you prepare yourself and those that provide a ready-made meal.
Aging in place can be a wonderful way to maintain your community connections and preserve your independence as you get older. Follow the tips above to make sure you can age in place successfully and safely.
For more content on healthy aging, check out the In-Home Services blog.