written by Patricia Nunan
Last week I had the opportunity to meet Eleanor. Eleanor is 69 years old and has been enjoying an active and independent retirement. Because of a freak accident that fractured her hip and broke her back, she now needs full time care. She is unable to get into her home or enjoy the simple things she did just two years ago. I was called to help Eleanor assess her situation. She faces the difficult decision of whether or not to move to a new home or modify her existing home so she can stay there.
The week before I met with Dottie, a 59-year-old athletic and independent career woman. Dottie is single and has a nice home in a beautiful setting, but its high maintenance – and hard to get to when it snows – in central PA. She and I discussed whether to make her home more accessible and easier for her as she ages in place or to relocate to a home that would be easier to maintain and live in as she ages.
Today I met with an amputee support group at a rehab center. A younger man (under 55) was telling me how he’s made changes in his home to make it easier to live independently and safely.
What impressed me most about all of these amazing people is their determination and desire to remain independent. Each has different stories and circumstances. Some are being proactive in planning to remain in their home for the foreseeable future; others are planning because life dealt them an unexpected curve ball.
For the past nine years I have helped people with disabilities and the elderly find ways to stay in their home or assist them in making the decision to move. More often than not people choose to remain in their home and make changes that will let them enjoy their home for years to come. When moving is the best option we work though the choice of homes and choose the one that works best for them.
Despite the snow still being on the ground, spring training has begun. We’re already planning much anticipated summer vacations and vegetable gardens. Now is a good time to think about your home and get it into shape to Age in Place. To help you get started, a few questions you might ask yourself:
Have I kept up with maintenance? Can I in the future?
Is my home accessible for me and other family members?
Do I like my home?
Do I like my neighborhood?
Do I want to stay here, as I get older?
Let’s hope the snow stops and the crocus start coming up soon. It’s a great time to start planning for the future.
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