What Is Aging In Place?

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Aging in place is a term used to describe a person living in the residence of their choice as they age, for as long as they are able. The act of ‘aging in place’ is a period of time in an elderly person’s life when they have the things they need and can maintain their quality of life. Assessing the process of aging in place, includes planning for quality of life. This focuses on helping seniors ensure they can live where they choose and get the help they need during that time. The goal of an elderly person wanting to age in place should be to maintain and/or improve their quality of life. In order to do that, a good plan should be created early on, that focuses on their quality of life and covers their home, finances and care. Planning for this should involve family and legal representation (Elder Law Attorney). A well-planned outline should include: A Living Willing, Appointed Power of Attorney and Advanced Health Care Directives. These documents serve as detailed descriptions of what the last requests are in a person’s life. When a person begins their journey into aging, they have to consider long term plans, and set forth proper documentation to include the necessary legal paperwork.

Aging in place is such an important factor right now, because for some seniors this has a huge impact on their quality of life. Many seniors are living at home, alone, struggling with both everyday tasks and maintaining good health. This can cause their quality of life to go down as they get older. Many times family members have to help their aging loved ones. This can include becoming the caregiver for mom or dad or helping out with daily activities such as cooking, bathing and running errands. This can become very stressful on families because they may still be working full-time and have families of their own to take care of.

Aging changes to watch for:

  • Reduced vision
  • Decreased muscle strength
  • Reduced mental processing capabilities
  • Increased risk of falls due to poor balance
  • Reduced hearing
  • Deceased mobility

The impact of these changes can be identified in the daily life of an elderly person. While their physical capabilities lessen, their needs change. This has a huge impact on their day-to-day life.

Therefore, as a relative ages in place, family members need to become aware and familiar with the different services available to help during this journey. Many seniors will opt to have home health services, while others may choose to downsize and move into a senior living community that offers an array of services. Whatever the choice, it is important to start planning for the future and research the best options for each step of the aging process.

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