The focus of aging in place, as we’ve seen in prior posts in this series, 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 (or anyone) wanting to age in place should be to maintain and/or improve their quality of life. In order to do that, there are a number of factors peculiar to this stage of an individual’s life that must be considered along with some concrete, definable steps you can take to ensure that you remain in the old homestead or maybe even move to a new one where you can continue to live an independent lifestyle?
Let’s look at just a few of those things you can do and services you can avail yourself of to ensure that you can safely remain in your home while maintaining an enhanced quality of life.
Senior Home Care Services. These are non-medical Home Care Agencies which offer solutions to the many challenges that aging brings. Among other things, they provide in-home care, companionship, meal planning, transportation, errands, light house-keeping, cooking and medication reminders, pet care, bathing & dressing, pet care, hospital discharge services and fall prevention & home safety inspections for their clients. Make sure that the company’s caregivers are fully trained and monitored and that the company is licensed and bonded and a member of the American Board of Home Care.
Reverse Mortgages. This is a loan for senior homeowners that utilize the home’s equity as collateral. The loan generally does not have to be repaid until the last surviving homeowner permanently moves out of the property or passes away. At that time, the estate has approximately 6 months to repay the balance of the reverse mortgage or sell the home to pay off the balance. Any remaining equity is inherited by the estate. The estate is not personally liable if the home sells for less than the balance of the reverse mortgage.
Home Modifications. Home modifications are changes made to adapt living spaces to meet the needs of people with physical limitations so that they can continue to live independently and safely. With the aging of the baby boomer population, eldercare has become a catchword phrase and companies that offer home modifications have become a burgeoning business. Most homes are not designed to accommodate the needs of people over age 65. Most older people live in homes that are more than 20 years old. As these buildings get older along with their residents, they may become harder to live in or maintain. These modifications may include adding assistive technology or making structural changes to a home. Modifications can range from something as simple as replacing cabinet doorknobs with pull handles to full-scale construction projects that require installing wheelchair ramps, widening doorways and stairways, installing grab bars and installing walk-in bathtubs.
Veteran’s Home Care. If you’re a wartime veteran or were married to a veteran who served during wartime, then you may be eligible to receive a pension through the Veteran’s Administration, known as the Aid & Attendance pension. Those services which specialize in this can pre-qualify you to determine if you will be approved for the pension. If you do qualify, they will help you fill out the application and manage your claim on your behalf. This is a reimbursable pension which means that if you don’t have the funds to pay for home care, these services may help you pay for it while you are waiting for the VA to approve your application.
Optimal Senior Care Solutions can help you age in place by providing in home care giving services. Caregivers can provide you with assistance with many activities of daily living. We also can provide referrals for many service providers, such as home modification contractors, reverse mortgages, exercise therapists, physical therapists, veteran’s home care, and more. Contact us today to learn more.