The number of older adults in the United States is increasing rapidly. This is due, in part, to the fact that Americans are living longer than ever before. The average life expectancy in the U.S. is now over 78 years, and it will continue to rise.
As the population of elderly Americans continues to grow, there are several challenges that we will need to address. One big challenge is how to pay for their care. The cost of caring for elderly Americans is already estimated to be more than $500 billion per year, and it is projected to increase dramatically in the coming years. This is why many have decided to age in place.
What is Aging-in-Place?
Aging-in-place is the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level. It means staying in the home you love as you age and not having to move to a nursing home or other long-term care facility.
Aging-in-place Vs. Living in a Nursing Home
There are many reasons why aging-in-place is preferable to living in a nursing home. First of all, it is significantly less expensive. The average cost of a private room in a nursing home is now more than $100,000 per year. That is more than twice the median income for Americans over 65.
In addition to being less expensive, aging-in-place also allows older adults to maintain their independence and autonomy. They can continue to live in the homes they have lived in for many years, and they can remain close to their families and friends. Finally, aging in place is better for physical and mental health.
So, what do you need to help your elders age in place? Here are eight essential things:
A support network
One of the most important things you can do to help your elderly loved ones age in place is creating a support network. This might include friends, family members, neighbors, and even professional caregivers. The goal is to make sure they have someone to rely on if they need help with everyday tasks or if they have an emergency.
A safe and accessible home
A safe and accessible home is crucial if you want your grandparents to age in place. This means making sure their home is free of potential hazards, such as trip hazards, slippery floors, and loose railings.
It also means making sure their home is easily accessible, with clear paths and wide doorways. This will allow them to move around quickly and get to all the places they need to go.
You can also make minor modifications to their home to make it more age-friendly. For example, you can install grab bars in the bathroom and add raised toilet seats.
Robust transportation is essential for anyone aging in place. Good transportation can help the elderly get around, whether it’s a car, a bike, or public transport. It also means having someone who can help them with transportation if they can no longer drive.
Home care services
Another essential thing you need to help your elders age in place is home care services. These are services that help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They can also include light housekeeping, laundry, and grocery shopping.
You can’t take care of your grandparents alone. Make sure to hire a good residential home care service to help you out. They can make your life and your grandparent’s life much easier.
Access to medical care
Medical care is crucial for any elder. They need a way to see their doctor, whether it’s through in-home visits, telemedicine, or transportation to and from appointments. It also means having someone to help them with their medications and any medical equipment they may need.
Having healthy meals is crucial for any elder. They might need help with meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. You can also look into meal delivery services, which will deliver meals right to their door.
It’s also vital that they get the exercise they need. It helps them maintain their strength, flexibility, and balance. It can also help reduce the risk of falls.
There are many ways to get your grandparents moving, such as walks around the neighborhood, chair exercises, or even Tai Chi classes.
Social activities can help them interact with other people, whether through social clubs, outings, or online communities. It also means making sure they have someone to talk to regularly.
Another essential thing you need to help your elders age in place is financial assistance. This means having someone who can help them with their finances, whether budgeting, paying bills, or finding government benefits. It also means making sure they have enough money to cover their basic needs.
These are just a few things you need to help your elders age in place. It’s essential to start planning now to be prepared for the future. Aging in place doesn’t have to be complicated. With a little bit of planning, you can make sure your grandparents have everything they need to live a happy and healthy life.