YOUR AGING PARENTS WANT TO STAY IN THEIR HOME, BUT HERE ARE 7 REASONS WHY IT COULD BE TOUGH

More than 12,000 people are turning 65 each day in the US. And with that, individuals and families are starting to make considerations on what might be entailed to better manage the aging process. 

There is a strong desire from seniors to age in place, meaning staying in their home instead of moving to a dedicated facility. Marc Glickman, CEO of long-term care planning experts BuddyIns, estimated that today, around 75% of seniors are using home care services to age in place instead of moving to an assisted living or nursing homes.  

An AARP survey showed 90% of individuals 65 and over would prefer to age in place. However, when it comes to aging in place, there is much to consider that is often overlooked. 

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On the home front, there are many modifications to the home to be made, big and small, to make aging in the home safer. From remodeling or relocation, such as moving an upstairs bedroom downstairs, to small shifts like managing loose electrical cords that could cause tripping, there is an "age-proofing" process that must be done in order to ensure home safety. Review checklists like this one from AARP to consider what’s involved. 

Personal care is an underappreciated issue when it comes to aging. Whether it be bathing, dressing or grooming, day-to-day tasks often become more difficult with age. Think through who is going to be there to assist with these tasks. Also, consider a wardrobe that might be more appropriate for mobility issues or if you need to change adult diapers.  

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In addition to personal care, managing everything from food, shelter, financial services, medical needs, transportation and more can become more challenging as we age. If family members are going to be caregivers, be sure to have a meeting and be clear of who is in charge of what tasks and what the "Plan B" is if that person becomes unavailable for some period of time.  

If specialist contractors are going to be hired with home health or other caregiving services, you need to do your research, as this is an area that can cause additional issues. Be sure to obtain references for any care providers and also consider the impact of having strangers in the house on the person aging. 

There are additional concerns with hiring helpers. Senior Providers Network elder care expert Scot Cheben, who has also been a primary caregiver himself, warned that hiring the "wrong kind of caregiver could cost you your house." Cheben shared that not all home care companies do background checks and that some companies don’t provide workers’ compensation insurance to their contractors.  

He said this varies due to state regulations, but hiring a caregiver that doesn’t have workers’ compensation who then hurts themselves inside the home could sue the homeowner or even sue the hiring person for not following labor laws, so be very aware of what is at risk. Cheben notes that workers’ compensation is state-regulated coverage, and different states have different regulations.   

As you make any plans to age in place, be sure to go over what’s important to the aging individual and a full plan of who is doing what, alongside emergency and end-of-life planning. Using a legacy and wishes planning roadmap like my own Future File system can help a family broach the subject and move through critical but challenging conversations.  

Having a file ensures there is a common place where everyone who needs it can access to critical information and wishes, whether that be medicines taken, contacts of important service providers and key financial policies, as well as any needed medical or property-related directives. 

Technology is playing a bigger role in our lives, and that is certainly the case with aging. Look into technology that can help with everything from medication management to monitored personal alarms.  

Tech-powered devices today can help monitor your health and also manage different facets of the home, whether that be a device that automatically shuts off the stove after a certain amount of time, to devices that can be activated remotely or by voice to manage everything from the temperature to the lights.  

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On the personal robot front, Marc Glickman shared that "we are seeing advancements in technology to allow seniors to age in place with ‘companion robots’. Elliq from Intuition Robotics is advanced technology that uses the latest AI to create a custom companion for seniors."  

Isolation is an overlooked issue with aging. You need to make sure that while aging in place, there are enough plans for socialization, whether inside or outside of the home. The National Council on Aging wrote that "the health risks of prolonged isolation are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day."  

With both socialization and access to other products and services, people aging in place who live in more populated areas may have different considerations than those in less populated areas. 

Unfortunately, when it comes to aging, none of this is cheap. Marc Glickman shared on the home care services front that "the cost of these services is increasing due to shortage of quality home care aides. This is why it is critical to budget for these services by considering long-term care insurance or setting aside dedicated assets or income for these needs." 

There is a lot to consider regarding aging in place, but given how many seniors would prefer this route to aging in a dedicated facility, it’s good to start the planning process early. 

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Original article source: Your aging parents want to stay in their home, but here are 7 reasons why it could be tough

2024-01-28T15:12:14Z dg43tfdfdgfd