Retirement is a beautiful time in life when seniors can shift their focus from daily obligations to activities that bring them joy. It’s true freedom.
The tradeoff is that as seniors age, the freedom to live independently starts to become a question of safety and wellbeing. Even the healthiest seniors may develop poorer eyesight, mobility issues, and require more frequent doctor visits.
This natural progression, however, does not have to equate to losing the ability to live longer at home – what’s known as ‘aging in place.’ Today, more than ever, older adults are choosing to age in place at increasing rates. And, a growing number are choosing to do so by downsizing to a move-in-ready home designed to cater to all of their needs both now and as they age.
How to Plan to Age in Place in Retirement
If living at home for as long as possible is your goal and you’re considering a move to an aging-in-place home, there are five primary considerations to make before you decide what’s right for you.
Aging-in-Place Consideration #1: First Floor Living
Living safely in retirement is the single most important consideration when you’re thinking about aging at home. Trips and falls are two of the most common accidents that lead to injuries among older adults. As we age, walking up and down the stairs becomes difficult and unsafe.
Living in a single-floor home is the first consideration to make when looking for your aging-in-place home. At Pleasant View, all of our residential living options keep your living space on one floor. You may feel comfortable with a two-story home now, but planning your aging-in-place home requires you to plan for years down the road when steps may no longer be safe.
Aging-in-Place Consideration #2: A Safe Bathroom
The bathroom is the next big consideration when you’re planning to age in place. It’s not hard to imagine how dangerous the bathroom can be if water ends up on the floor from the shower or sink. Also, recognize that seniors will eventually need greater support getting around and using the bathroom each day.
The layout of the bathroom and the type of shower, sink and toilet are considerations to make. Will the floor be slippery if water slips off the counter? Will getting in and out of the shower be a challenge down the road? Is the bathroom big enough to move around now and in the future if you require support from a walker?
Because we put such a focus on aging in place safely at Pleasant View, our residential living spaces account for these needs so our community members can live safely at homes and remain independent for as long as possible.
Aging-in-Place Consideration #3: Homeownership without the Burden
If retirement is about freedom from obligation, there’s no better way to truly enjoy retirement than to free yourself from the burden of homeownership.
Owning a home means you’re still cleaning, landscaping, and handling home repairs rather than enjoying time with friends and family or taking part in a hobby.
But aging in place does not mean you have to be burdened by your home’s needs. We’ve taken a very intentional approach to aging-in-place and homeownership at Pleasant View. Our residents don’t lift a finger at home that they don’t want to lift. We take care of the cleaning, mowing, snow shoveling, and just about anything else they need to be done around the house. Our goal is to make sure homeownership doesn’t place a constraint on our residents’ ability to enjoy life in retirement.
Aging-in-Place Consideration #4: Skilled Nursing Care Nearby
Seniors can safely age in place for many more years when there’s skilled nursing care nearby. Skilled care could mean in-home support from a healthcare professional each day to help with simple tasks like administering medication. Or, it could mean temporary nursing care after a surgery or illness.
When a skilled nursing professional is right around the corner, aging in place becomes much safer and therefore a realistic option for seniors who want to stay at home. Pleasant View is an ideal community for seniors who want access to the care they need while still living independently in one of our beautiful cottages for as long as possible.
Aging-in-Place Consideration #5: Community
Living independently does not and should not mean living alone. When you’re considering aging in place as an option, consider the community around you and your home. Are there opportunities to get involved with community events and activities, support organizations through volunteering, and ways to stay active and get involved with other seniors also aging in place?
Look for a community that’s full of life and energy where you can age in place while staying active and engaged with others.
A Community That Supports Your Overall Wellbeing Will Let You Age in Place Longer
When you’re thinking about aging in place, there’s a lot to consider. The decision to live independently at home well into retirement should take all of these factors into consideration to ensure you’re making a choice that will support your overall wellbeing for years to come.
Pleasant View Communities serves seniors at every stage of life. We’re designed to support the desire to age in place with our active community, multiple residential living options, skilled nursing care, and so much more.
We welcome you and your loved ones to visit Pleasant View Communities and discover all of the ways we make aging in place safe and enjoyable so you can enjoy all of the freedoms that retirement brings for years to come.