If you are like many Canadians, you want to Age in Place in your own home and community.
Aging in place means having the health and social supports and services you need to live safely and independently in your home or your community for as long as you wish and are able.
Planning can help you achieve this goal
The earlier you start planning, the more prepared you will be to respond to changes that may occur as you age such as changes in your health, mobility or social connections.
To successfully plan ahead, you need to start thinking about how you want to live as you age and what steps you need to take to achieve that lifestyle. When planning, you should also consider the unexpected. This includes planning for what you would do if you had a sudden onset of a chronic illness, developed a disability or had a change in resources.
Making choices now will give you greater control over your independence, quality of life and dignity.
Here are some things to consider when planning for aging in place:
Thinking about your home
A key step in planning for independence is assessing your home to determine if it can meet your changing needs as you age.
Depending on your situation, you may want to think about making changes to your home to help you as you age and to help delay the need for a future move. For example, you may choose to widen doorways in your home to allow access by a walker or wheelchair, or install a chairlift or elevator.
If you decide that your home no longer meets your needs or that you can no longer live safely and independently in your home, learn about the options available in your community. These may include moving into a more accessible or smaller home, or exploring seniors' housing options such as assisted living or long-term care. Be aware that different housing options may have different eligibility rules.
- If I want to live in my current home as I age, what modifications could help me remain safe? (e.g., installing hand rails, a ramp, emergency response systems, etc.)
- How will I maintain my home if I need help? Are there services available in my community? Do I have the money to pay for the services if I need them?
- Do I need to move to a more manageable home or consider a home without stairs?
- What are my housing options if my current home no longer suits my needs? What will be the costs?
Next article: Thinking about your community