Aging in place is the ability to live in your home or community of choice as long as you can with the services and supports you need over time. Older adults and their family members should plan for aging in place in advance, preferably prior to retirement. The plan for seniors should include information such as their support system or who they should call for certain needs, their likes and dislikes, information about their home, finances and services. This plan should be updated over time as situations change.
For older adults, this advance planning allows them to make choices, remain in control and independent. It also helps them avoid feeling like they are a burden to their family because they are able to make the needed changes now they believe will be necessary without involving family. For example, hire an occupational therapist to conduct a home assessment to determine what changes are or will be needed to the home to make it safer during the normal aging process.
Educate yourself about community based services in the senior living community you choose. Create a plan base on levels of need:
- Level One: In level one the older adult may need assistance with some very basic household management issues. At this level the individual does not have any safety concerns and do not need assistance with personal care. So you want to research agencies or individuals about assisting with light housekeeping, transportation to pay bills, purchase groceries or volunteer.
- Level Two: This individual may need everything above and meal preparation along with one or more activities of living such as bathing, dressing and ambulation. The individual will need a paraprofessional such as a Nurse Aide or Personal Care Attendant who are normally employed by Personal Care Agencies.
- Level Three: This individual may need more help than levels one and two, such as assistance with managing their chronic illness or multiple illnesses, as well as medication management. More than likely, these individuals have been in the hospital due to their chronic illness, and they have regular follow up visits with their primary care physician and/or medical specialist. They also may need rehabilitation therapies. At this level the individual and caregiver need to decide between managing all these things in the home setting versus an assisted living center.
For more information about options for senior living, contact Spring Arbor.