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Aging in Place FAQs

The term “aging in place” is becoming more common, but what exactly does this mean? Much more than just in home care, that’s for sure. The idea of aging in place in your own home is a concept aimed at seniors, and it’s a simple idea on the surface.

Aging well at home is often about avoiding life in a nursing home while also eliminating or reducing the need for family members to have to re-arrange their lives completely to help you with everyday tasks.

These are great goals for aging in place, but making them happen is more complex than it seems after you think of the things that need to happen. This is when most seniors give up, resigning themselves to the nursing home or some kind of community services.

But the fact is, with a little coaching on the options and approaches, extended seniors living and aging in place is not only possible, but it can turn into an excellent reality for you.

The questions and answers you see below are some of the main questions people ask as they’re planning their aging in place plans.

Aging in Place Questions

Q: How can I pay for aging in place modifications?

A: Government programs exist in most places to help pay for seniors’ renovations that make aging in place possible, and you’ll find similar help from veterans affairs offices, the federal government, state and provincial governments, medicare advantage, and others.

Seniors who understand the options pay far less than the total true cost of aging in place renovations.


Q: How independent do you plan to be in your home?

A: The vast majority of seniors want to live at home as they age, but few expect to realistically do so.

A 2021 study conducted by March of Dimes Canada shows 78% of seniors want to live independently, aging in place and avoiding the nursing home completely. The bad news is that less than 25% think they can.

A full 93% of seniors feel that home modifications are necessary to make long-term aging in place a reality in their home, with support from home health care services as needed. The fact is, seniors-related home renovations are the main thing required to make the dream come true, but you need to begin them before needs arise.

The biggest single reason older adults end up in nursing homes as opposed to aging in place is because the installation of renovations and in home care features did not begin soon enough. In home care services, emergency alert system selection, personal caregiving services for light housekeeping and to support independent living are all key, and all must be put in place before you actually need them.


Q: Will outside health care be involved delivering the home care you need?

A: Typically yes, but certainly not at first. There are many products and technical advances such as emergency alert systems, emergency response systems, walk in tub systems, plus home care services that can make aging in place and avoiding the nursing home completely realistic.

Home care services are generally only needed with seniors when they get past stage 3 or 4 of the aging in place journey.


Q: What’s the best way for older adults to have an access ramp built?

A: These are all vital questions to ask when your goal is aging in place at home, and modifications like these and more will certainly be necessary. But each requires something of a special approach since the details of renovations for older adults only happens on a case-by-case basis.


Q: Is a porch lift a better option than a wheelchair access ramp?

A: It depends. Wheelchair access ramps are the traditional option for enhanced seniors access to homes, but a porch lift is sometimes a better option. Porch lifts are small, open outdoor elevators that eliminate all the space normally needed by a ramp.

Aging in place will almost always require either a ramp or a lift, and many seniors are surprised to learn that a lift does not cost more (and sometimes less) than a wooden ramp.


Q: What are the most important modifications needed for bathrooms, kitchens and bedrooms?

A: Details of home modifications vary depending on the house, but typical features include a raised toilet seat and barrier-free shower or walk in tub installation for bathrooms. Kitchens benefit from lower-than-usual counter tops,


Q: Is it practical to build accommodations for people delivering in home care for seniors?

A: Yes, it’s entirely practical to do this. The options for building second suite accommodations as part of home modifications are wide and varied.


Q: What specific home renovations, products, design ideas and health care aids make the most sense when it comes to providing home health care services for yourself in your own place?

A: Aging in place ultimately comes down to the installation of products that overcome the three features of aging: declining strength, declining flexibility and declining mental acuity.

Wise seniors pay attention to doing everything they can to maintain physical and mental capabilities, and this is the other side of the coin when it comes to aging in place with safety and happiness.


Q: Won’t aging in place at home put undue stress and responsibilities on family members?

A: No, not if you do it right. The renovation features that are part of every aging in place home makeover enables anyone to come to your home to provide health care services for you. This could be delivered entirely by family members, or a mix of family members and home health care providers.


Q: How do you choose an emergency alert system or supplemental health insurance for seniors?

A: It all comes down to doing research them making a decision based on your needs. Our Aging Well at Home online course includes lists of current options that we recommend.


Q: Are adult day care programs at senior centers suitable for people who began to renovate their home for extended for living independently, but need more time to get those aging in place features complete?

A: Yes, absolutely. Senior centers and even in home help can certainly make a big difference if time to complete aging in place renovations becomes short. There are many options for buying more time as seniors renovations happen at your place. Home health care services are also handy for this. The main thing to remember is to begin your aging in place enhancements before the need arises.


Q: How does home health care delivery work, as well as doctor’s visits, personal care, grocery shopping and all the other things that aging in place at home requires.

A: All this seems complicated at first glance but it’s not if you take things one step at a time. Aging doesn’t happen overnight, so changes in your lifestyle and routines can unfold at a calm pace. Adult day care, in home care, installing grab bars, emergency response systems and other seniors features won’t all be needed at once, so you’ve got time. Aging in place enhancements can happen slow enough that you can almost certainly allow you to live in your own home.

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