This is very understandable as so many people feel home is where they are most familiar and comfortable.
But staying there is not always easy or feasible as we age. Below are several determinations that when made can help extend someone’s time in their home and help determine when it may be time to leave for a more suitable living situation.
As people age their bodies change, vision becomes reduced, joints become painful, and smaller injuries become more severe. Simple changes such adding handrails to staircases, removing area rugs or other tripping hazards, and adding motion detecting lights can help address some of these problems.
While finances are important, it really does not matter if a person can afford to live in their home if their age prevents them from doing so. It is important to determine if an aging loved one can still care for themselves or to what degree they need assistance. This can be anything from stopping by once a week to help cook meals and clean to hiring a live in nurse. This decision depends on the situation and what everyone is comfortable with.
It is however crucial not to disregard the social aspect of our lives. It is great to care for someone’s physical and financial wellbeing, but one of the main problems America’s senior population face is social isolation leading to depression. The presence of friends still living nearby or proximity to a favorite activity should therefore not be disregarded during these deliberations.
An honest assessment of the costs and benefits of staying at home evaluates not only obvious expenditures such as rent or mortgage payments, but the price of things such as the modifications to your home or extra help mentioned above. While some may be hesitant to incur the expenses of moving, it sometimes can be more costly to age in place.
It is therefore wise to re-evaluate these factors and the decision about staying at home or moving every few years. Not every person will need to move to a senior apartment complex or hire help to care for their home as they age, but sometimes leaving a family home can be for the best.
Your plan to age at home or elsewhere is something we consider when working with our clients in the matters of Elder Law, Estate Planning, Medical Assistance (Medicaid), Guardianship, Asset Preservation and Fiduciary Representation.
Mr. Abraham is an experienced attorney and founding member of the Law Firm of Abraham & Bauer. The Towson, MD office of the firm concentrates its practice in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Probate, Medical Assistance (Medicaid), Guardianship, Asset Preservation and Fiduciary Representation.
He is an active member in a number of professional organizations that focus on law, the senior community, and estate planning. He works with clients in Central Maryland, especially in Towson, Hunt Valley, Lutherville/Timonium, Parkville, White Marsh, Bel Air & Northern Baltimore City.
Schedule a consultation to help you and your loved ones.