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  • Cameron Oglesby

Are you sure you want to age in place?

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

Survey after survey shows that the overwhelming majority of older adults – in some surveys as many as 90% – want to spend the rest of their lives in their current homes.

But should they?

It’s true that aging in place lets you stay in familiar surroundings, close to friends and family, while avoiding the stress, strain and costs of moving – especially if you’ve already downsized.

But size isn’t everything. Because whether you’re rattling around your empty nest or living in a cozy condo, your home is aging as you do; you’ll both need more care as you get older. Some of the signs may be as obvious as peeling paint, rotting shingles, or the odor of the sewer backing up in the basement. But some – like mold under the sink, mice in the walls, or a furnace or air-conditioning compressor that are no longer what they used to be – aren’t.

Your home may already have grab bars and entrance ramps, but what about less obvious safety equipment, such as lever-style doorknobs and brighter lighting?

Either way, repairs and purchases can put a dent in your retirement savings.

You may be aging faster than your house is. And aging can bring on everything from forgetting to take meds to not replacing fire or smoke detector batteries to no longer being able to perform your share of the household tasks like cooking, cleaning, or balancing the checkbook.

If your spouse or partner needs help with taking medications or maybe shots, with changing bandages, with toileting and bathing, will you be ready, willing and physically able to help?

If not, Medicare may be able to at least partially help. When you’re homebound and your doctor says it’s medically necessary, traditional Medicare covers the full cost of intermittent (less than seven days a week or less than eight hours a day over a 21 day period) skilled nursing care, physical therapy, and speech-language and occupational services in your home.

Under this year’s CHRONIC Care act, Medicare Advantage plans can now cover bathroom grab bars and wheelchair ramps, home-delivered medically tailored meals, telehealth doctor visits, and home aides. Different plans have different coverages, so now that we’re into this year’s open enrollment period, it’s a good time to start comparing.

Any time of year can be a good time for our thorough three-part needs assessment. We’ll go through your and your family’s health history, talk with you and your family members about your physical, psychosocial and mental status, physical and mobility issues and check on the safety and livability of your home. Based on what we learn, we can make informed recommendations for a holistic, coordinated senior care management program tailored to your own unique needs. And if one of those needs turns out to be relocation, as a former executive director of assisted living communities, I can give you knowledgeable, objective advice on that.

Either way, if you contact us for a consultation, we can help you make sure that Home Sweet Home is Home Safe Home as well.

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