4 Ideas You Can Use to Help an Aging Parent Age In Place

Elderly father talking with daughter

Do you have an aging parent who still lives alone in their own home? Are you concerned? Have you heard the term “aging in place”?  The term “aging in place” refers to the concept of your aging parent continuing to live in their own home and community as they grow older, rather than relocating to an assisted living facility or nursing home. However, it is going to involve creating an environment and implementing strategies that support independent living and allow your aging parent to maintain their quality of life while aging.

Where did the idea of aging in place come from? Aging in place is based on the idea that senior adults prefer to remain in familiar surroundings and maintain their autonomy and connection to their community as they age. It promotes the physical, social, and emotional well-being of senior adults by enabling them to stay in the homes they have lived in for years, surrounded by their belongings, neighbors, and support networks. The key to success is to ensure you and your aging parent are able to create an environment that supports independence, safety, and well-being.  Now we know that you may have questions on this important topic and we want to share four ideas to help you and your aging parent find a way to age in place successfully.

1. There will be a need to modify the home. You and your aging parent can make necessary modifications to their home to ensure it is safe and accessible. This may include installing grab bars in bathrooms, adding handrails on stairs, widening doorways for wheelchair accessibility, and reducing tripping hazards. Consider consulting with an occupational therapist or a certified aging-in-place specialist for personalized recommendations.

2. There will be a need to create a local support network. There is no replacement for developing a strong support system of family, friends, and neighbors who can assist you and your aging parent when needed. Share the intentions of aging in place with them and communicate any specific needs or concerns. Additionally, consider having your aging parent join local community organizations or senior centers that provide resources and social engagement opportunities. You can also reach out to your local sheriff’s office to establish regular senior well-being check-ins.

3. There will be a need to utilize technology to help your aging parent. Embrace technology that can enhance your aging parent’s safety and well-being. For example, install a medical alert system or have your aging parent wear a personal emergency response pendant that can summon help in case of emergencies. Explore smart home technologies, such as automated lighting or voice-controlled devices, to make daily tasks easier.

4. There is a need for your aging parent to stay physically active. Encourage your aging parent to engage in regular physical activity to maintain strength, flexibility, and balance. This can help prevent falls and promote overall health. Consider exercises like walking, tai chi, or yoga that are gentle on the joints and can be modified to accommodate different fitness levels.

5. There is a need for your aging parent to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Focus on a nutritious diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle to support your aging parent’s well-being. Your aging parent should eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins and ask your aging parent’s doctor for specific recommendations based on their current health needs. Stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and manage stress effectively. Do not forget that regular medical check-ups and preventive care are also essential.

6. There is a need to have a plan in place for transportation. Evaluate your aging parent’s transportation options to ensure your aging parent can get around as needed. If driving becomes challenging or is no longer an option, explore alternative transportation services like senior transportation programs, ridesharing services, or public transportation. Additionally, consider living in a community with amenities and services within walking distance.

7. There is a need to stay socially connected. As your parent ages it can be harder to maintain an active social life that will help your aging parent combat feelings of isolation and loneliness. Encourage your aging parent to participate in community events, join clubs or groups aligned with their interests, and stay connected with family and friends. Again, embrace technology here for virtual connections through video calls or social media platforms.

Remember, aging in place successfully involves proactive planning and adapting to changing needs over time. Regularly reassess your aging parent’s situation and make adjustments to their home and support systems as necessary. This includes consulting with professionals in the field of aging, such as their Florida elder law attorney, who can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the process.
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Our firm is here to support you now and available to answer your questions. We know this article may raise more questions than it answers.  No matter where you are in life’s journey, we can help. The most important thing is to protect yourself and those you love.  Whether you need to update your estate plan, are preparing for future long-term care needs, or have a loved one entering or already in a nursing home, we are ready to assist you. We have three convenient locations and are ready to serve the communities around Highlands and Polk County, Florida. Take your first step by contacting us today.

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