While many may desire the situation, there are also many challenges for aging in place. If the senior’s health isn’t adequate, it can put them at risk without proper in-home care. There can also be impacts on mental health and well-being.
While the feeling of independence is powerful, it’s important to make sure that well-being is accounted for.
Challenges for Aging in Place
Most Homes are Inaccessible – Most homes in the U.S. are inaccessible in some form for seniors or people with disabilities. This may include several factors including:
- The entry way is not level with the ground, making it inaccessible for a wheelchair or anyone who cannot handle the stairs.
- A threshold in the entryway that prevents wheelchair access or creates a fall risk.
- Doorways inside the house that are too narrow to allow wheelchair access.
- Countertops are too high for someone in a wheelchair to be able to cook.
Today, many of these problems can be overcome. Ramps and stairlifts allow easier access into the home. A small ramp can allow access over a threshold, or the threshold may be able to be removed. Doorways can often be widened, and countertops can be lowered.
There are walking aids and bathroom products that make it easier for people to age in place.
The Cost of Long-Term In-Home Care – Many seniors who intend to age in place still require assistance in their day-to-day living. They may need help with every-day tasks such as getting dressed, bathing, or taking their medications. The cost of providing this type of in-home care for extended periods of time can be expensive.
Isolation – While many seniors don’t want to live in some form of group home, maintaining independence does have a drawback – it can be isolating. By living at home, you’ll have to work harder to remain socially connected. If travel is difficult, friends and family may need to come to you.
A Fixed Income – Even when you are earning an income, homeownership can be expensive. When appliances break and projects arise, you cannot simply notify the landlord. These things require money to fix, and on a fixed income, that can be a constant challenge.
Inadequate Assistance – When you live on your own, it can be difficult to get the help you may need to function on a day-to-day basis. Everyday tasks can become a challenge. If you don’t have adequate in-home care, it can cause an over-reliance on family or friends. This can create a risky situation.
Aging in place can provide a significant amount of freedom to life. It’s important to have an adequate plan in place to address the common challenges associated with this lifestyle. If home access is an issue, and you’d like to install a ramp or a stairlift, contact us today.