One of the best things you can do when planning for your retirement and potential longevity, is to prepare to age-in-place. Aging-in-place considers where you will live, and how your home and community can best support your needs as you age. Whether you are gearing up to enter retirement, already retired, or your parents are facing their wisest years, be certain to consider aging-in-place.
Begin by looking at your home. Is it in good condition, can it be modified to suit your needs, and can you make changes now to prevent injury, especially falls (“How Much Care Will You Need?”; “What Is Long-Term Care?”)?
Falls are a huge risk to older Americans. For people aged 65 or older, falls are the leading cause of injury and injury death for older adults (“Keep on Your Feet-Preventing Older Adult Falls.”). In addition, a person’s need for long-term care often follows a fall. By making changes to your home, you can prevent falls from occurring and in turn, delay your need for care (“Planning Ahead after Age 65.”).
The National Institute on Aging and the Administration for Community Living have indicated several ways to make your home safe and accessible, such as:
- Remove area rugs from your home.
- Replace handles on doors and faucets that are comfortable for you to use.
- Install grab bars near toilets and in the tub/ shower.
- Consider installing a walk-in/ roll-in shower.
- Install ramps with handrails to the front door.
- Reduce fall hazards: place no slip strips or no skid mats on tile and wood floors or surfaces that may get wet.
- Place light switches at the top and bottom of stairs and remember to turn on night lights.
Once you have evaluated your home and how it will serve you as you age, the second piece to consider is to know what resources your community offers. A community that has shopping nearby and accessible public transportation is extremely helpful for older adults because it is safer and easier to get items you need and to complete tasks around town. Sometimes communities also have services such as home delivered meals, transportation services, and senior centers (“How Much Care Will You Need?”). Senior centers can be a wonderful resource to have because they provide an opportunity to socialize and exercise.
In sum, aging-in-place is an essential part of retirement and long-term care planning. Though, it is only one component of a much larger puzzle. To complete the rest of your puzzle, schedule a meeting with us. We will work together to complete your financial plan and guide you to peace of mind as you navigate retirement and long-term care planning in an otherwise confusing world.
From the Desk of Sirra Anderson-Crum FPQP®
“Aging in Place: Tips on Making Home Safe and Accessible.” National Institute on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/infographics/aging-place-tips-making-home-safe-and-accessible.
“How Much Care Will You Need?” How Much Care Will You Need? | ACL Administration for Community Living, LongTermCare.gov, 18 Feb. 2020, https://acl.gov/ltc/basic-needs/how-much-care-will-you-need.
“Keep on Your Feet-Preventing Older Adult Falls.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Injury Prevention & Control, 16 Dec. 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/older-adult-falls/index.html#:~:text=About%2036%20million%20falls%20are,bones%20or%20a%20head%20injury.
“Planning Ahead after Age 65.” Planning Ahead After Age 65 | ACL Administration for Community Living, LongTermCare.gov, 18 Feb. 2020, https://acl.gov/ltc/basic-needs/pathfinder/planning-ahead-after-age-65.
“What Is Long-Term Care?” National Institute on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 May 2017, https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-long-term-care.