Most seniors think about aging in place in terms of their home, but the community surrounding that home can be just as crucial to safe and healthy aging, as well. So if you are setting a goal to age in place in comfort and maintain your quality of life, here’s what you need to know about aging in a community and lifestyle that will best support that aspiration.
Seniors Should Think About Transportation When Choosing a Community
Having a safe home is important for aging adults. Oftentimes, seniors will need to leave those homes to access other community resources, especially healthcare. That’s why seniors need to be aware of the transportation options available nearby and how to best afford those options throughout retirement. If you plan to use Medicare, you should know that basic plans do not cover transportation costs for getting to the doctor (although you are covered for emergency transportation). So when you sign up for your plan, think about opting into a Medicare Advantage plan that often partners with rideshare companies to provide eligible members with safe transportation to their healthcare appointments.
A better alternative is to look into senior daycare. Aspen Senior Day Center offers roundtrip transportation on top of opportunities to socialize and activities that promote physical and mental health.
Seniors Should Consider the Risks of Aging in Place at Home Alone
While you can make home modifications to prevent falls and other hazards, physical changes to your home cannot prevent loneliness. While loneliness may not seem like a serious issue right now, for lonely seniors, these feelings can actually lead to negative impacts on physical health, as well as more severe complications for mental health and well-being. The effects of loneliness are so pervasive that public health experts consider them an epidemic. So, instead of planning to age alone, think about getting a roommate who can help remedy isolation feelings and provide needed assistance with rent and other housing expenses.
If you do decide to age in place alone, make sure your home is modified for accessibility, or you can downsize into a smaller home that already has these modifications in place. These modifications should not be limited indoors, as well. If your home has outdoor space, it can be rife with dangers. Trees and foliage can produce debris that will become trip hazards, as are out-of-control root systems. If you search for ‘local tree removal companies near me,’ you’ll find services that can remove or clean up these dangers. It can cost as much as $1,500 to remove a tree, yes, but this is certainly a good investment for your continued health and overall well-being.
Senior or Adult Day Care Can Improve Senior Quality of Life
Day care can help preserve health and happiness for seniors by offering valuable assistance with day-to-day activities. In addition to having basic needs taken care of, seniors can also enjoy access to social activities and wellness programs that can benefit their overall health. So don’t rule out these options as a way to age in place within a supportive community. These also not only allow seniors to age in place longer but also offer family caregivers much-needed respite.
Memory or Long-Term Care Can Make Life Easier for Many Seniors
As you make plans to age in a comfortable community, you should also include plans to cover long-term care costs. The stark reality is that most older adults will need long-term care at some point during retirement, and having access to nursing homes or other care can be vital in the event of a serious injury or illness. One of the most common reasons seniors turn to long-term care instead of aging in place is the need for memory care. Living with Alzheimer’s or dementia requires a special level of care to keep affected seniors safe, so know when this community option may be best for you or your loved one.
Senior Assistance Networks Can Make Aging in Place Easier
No matter where you choose to age, having a support network can make a world of difference. This village concept is growing in popularity across the country and can grow the potential for seniors to live longer, healthier, and happier lives. With the help of local organizations and community members, seniors can have more access to essential resources, like help with shopping or opportunities to socialize, which can make it easier to age in place. Do your homework to see if your community has similar village efforts in place, or look for a location that will offer the comforts of these senior village resources.
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to aging in a community. If you’re a senior or older adult who is planning for retirement and beyond, it’s important to keep the safety of your home in mind. It would help if you also thought about the safety and support of your community to preserve your independence and quality of life. Learn more about how senior day care at Aspen Senior Day Center.
To find out more about Aspen Senior Day Center’s commitment to excellence, please visit AspenSeniorCenter.org or call 801-607-2300.
About the Author
Jillian Day created 508Assist to help people all across the web make their sites accessible to individuals with disabilities. She was inspired to start 508Assist when a close family member, who happens to have a visual impairment, had trouble finding a dinner recipe online that he could read easily. When she’s not chasing after her little ones, Jillian enjoys being outside, whether she’s fishing, hiking, or Geocaching with her family.