National Elder Law Foundation
Certified Financial Planner
Loss of Life Advocates
National Association of Home Builder’s Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS)
National Association of the Remodeling Industry
National Aging-in-Place Council
Long Term Care Ombudsman
National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults
National Aging and Disability Transportation Center
Financial considerations for Aging-in-Place include budgeting for home modifications, researching insurance options, and developing a long-term financial plan to cover future care needs. Resources
Managing your healthcare needs as you age may involve finding a healthcare provider specializing in geriatrics, taking medications appropriately, and staying up-to-date on preventive screenings and check-ups.
To remain safe and independent as you Age-in-Place, you may need to prevent falls, maintain good nutrition and hydration, and stay connected with friends and family for social support.
Some modifications that can be made to your home include wider doorways, installing a walk-in bathtub or shower, adding a stair lift or elevator, and making changes to the layout of your home to accommodate mobility aids.
To prepare your home for Aging-in-Place, you can focus on making it safe, accessible, and comfortable. This may involve adding grab bars and handrails, improving lighting and visibility, and removing trip hazards. Here is a checklist.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Aging-in-Place is “the ability to live in one's own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”
Resources and support available for Aging-in-Place may include home health care, meal delivery programs, transportation services, and caregiver support groups. See my Resources for more information.
Legal and estate planning considerations for Aging-in-Place may include creating a durable power of attorney, updating your will and estate plan, and establishing advance directives. Resources
Some ways to make the transition to a smaller space easier include getting rid of excess possessions, choosing appropriately sized furniture for the new space, and finding practical storage solutions for the items you keep. It can also be helpful to focus on the positive aspects of downsizing, such as reduced living expenses and greater ease of maintenance. Resources
There are several options for dealing with excess possessions when downsizing. You can donate items to charity, sell them online or at a garage sale, pass them down to family members or grandchildren, or dispose of them responsibly. It's important to consider what items hold sentimental value and are necessary for your new, downsized living situation. It is okay to let your things go. Appreciate them and keep the memories.
Some tips for downsizing include starting early, breaking the process down into manageable steps, creating a plan for decluttering, prioritizing what to keep, and enlisting the help of family and friends. It can also be helpful to consider items’ emotional and sentimental value rather than just their practical use or monetary worth.
Downsizing is important for older adults for several reasons. Firstly, it can reduce living expenses, which can be especially helpful for those on fixed incomes. Secondly, it can make it easier to maintain a home as physical abilities decline. Finally, downsizing can allow seniors to move to a more manageable and comfortable home or community that better suits their needs as they age.
Potential challenges of Aging-in-Place include limited access to healthcare and social support, caregiver stress and burnout, and safety risks associated with home modifications and aging-related decline.
Benefits of Aging-in-Place include greater independence and control over one's life, reduced stress associated with moving, and continued engagement with one's social and community networks.
It's time to consider downsizing when your home has become difficult to maintain, or you no longer need as much space. Some signs that it might be time to downsize include struggling to keep up with household chores, having difficulty navigating stairs or tight spaces, feeling overwhelmed by the number of possessions you have, or simply no longer need a large home now that the children are grown and have moved out.