Like most adults, you probably want to age in place, meaning you want to age in your longtime home or community for as long as possible.
That said, ensuring your living situation is age-friendly and accessible can take some proactive planning. Common points to consider include:
- Your home and community preferences
- Your finances
- Accessibility needs in the home and in the community (for example, is there nearby public transportation)
- Available services in the area
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by making the necessary choices about where you want to live now and down the road, know that you are not alone.
Contemplating big changes can cause “shut down.” Instead, we encourage you to identify three manageable steps you can do now.
Three simple steps you can do now to plan for aging in place:
1. Research Care Managers in Your Area
A care manager can assess your needs, help arrange services, and monitor the services to make sure your needs are met. They can also be on-call in case of emergency. Aging Life Care Association has a tool on their website to search for experts. Access it here. At Iona, we call our geriatric care management services, “Iona Care Management.” You can learn more about services offered and schedule an in-home, office, or phone consultation by calling (202) 895-9448.
2. Declutter for 15 minutes a day
Though downsizing might be the right option for you, the idea of sorting through a lifetime’s accumulation can make it hard. Doing the work in 15 minutes is a good way to manage your expectations. Don’t expect to finish during one weekend! But, in 15 minutes you might be able to clear a table, cabinet, or drawer, and you’ll be able to see your headway. Learn more decluttering tips.
3. Join a Village
Villages provide access to services that support the goal of remaining at home as long as possible. Volunteers and limited paid staff can help with transportation or simple tasks (like walking a dog), provide social support, and make referrals to vetted services.
While it may seem overwhelming, making your plan now will only help you better handle challenges that may arise in the future. By starting today, you are giving yourself the time to think about your needs, research your options, and put together a plan that is good for you and your family. And remember, Iona is here for you too. Call us at (202) 895-9448 and speak with a specialist for referrals or schedule a consultation.