What is aging in place? Aging in place is a term used to describe a person living in the residence of their choice, for as long as they are able, as they age. This includes being able to have any services (or other support) they might need over time as their needs change.
The focus of aging in place is to help seniors ensure they can live where they choose and get any help they need for as long as they can. It is more than that, though. The goal of an elderly person wanting to age in place should be to maintain and/or improve their quality of life. In order to do that, a good plan that focuses on your quality of life and covers yourself, home, finances, care and other items should be created as early as possible. This plan should be maintained over time as your situation changes.
What changes as we age? Reduced vision and or hearing, decreased muscle strength or endurance, decreased mobility, increased risk of falls and reduced mental processing capabilities.
These changes happen to most everyone in one form or another. Knowing that this is the case and choosing to have a plan to age in place means you will have a greater change to control your quality of life and independence.
Planning also presents you with an opportunity to lessen the burden on your family by outlining how and where your needs are met. As well as, lessening the need for emergency assistance from community resources.
Most important, making these choices gives you control over your independence, quality of life and dignity. Aging in place does not mean you have to do everything yourself; that’s where the plan comes in. It means you get to plan how your needs are met, who meets them and when.
Bottom line – know your options and be in control!
Colin Sandler is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Care Manager providing advice for aging to seniors and their families for over 20 years. Colin Sandler, LCSW, CCM, 2127 Crompond Road, Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567, [email protected], 914-924-2566