Aging in Place

What exactly is, “Aging in Place? Simply put, aging in place refers to one’s ability to remain in their own home as they age, with as much independence as possible.  With today’s innovations, gone is the need to move from the home you love into an assisted living facility or nursing home, simply because some everyday tasks have grown difficult for you. 

Nobody relishes the idea of moving to an assisted facility. This is due to not wanting to leave the comfort of the home they love, and of course, the astronomical costs of an assisted living facility.  A recent article sheds some eye opening light on these costs. 

Bolton, Guy (2013, April 9).  Cost of assisted living, nursing home care in Wisconsin.The Journal Sentinel. From http://www.jsonline.com 

The median annual cost of an assisted living facility in Wisconsin is $42,451, while the cost for a private room in a nursing home is $96,725 in the state, according to the 10th annual survey by Genworth Financial Inc. 

With little help from insurance or Medicare, it’s easy to see how someone can quickly spend their life’s savings when they move into such a facility. The alternative?  “Aging In Place” to the rescue!  Below are some standard reasons why people may feel it’s time to move to a facility, along with available solutions to those issues that can instead allow you to stay comfortably and safely in your home. 

The number one obstacle? Stairs.  As we age, managing stairs inside or out becomes increasingly difficult.  Solutions:  For the exterior, a simple ramp can be constructed, thereby eliminating the need for stairs.  This is suitable for a variety of abilities including someone who uses a walker, a scooter or a wheelchair.  For interior stairs, a variety of stair lifts are available to fit all types of staircases.  The cost for either a ramp or stair lift can start as low as $3,200.00, installed.  And both ramps and stair lifts install with minimal alterations to the home. 

Another set of challenges arise in the bathroom. Something as simple as toileting becomes a chore when it’s difficult to sit or rise without a helping hand.  Several cost effective fixes are available, including the installation of grab bars to give you that extra helping hand and a raised toilet seat.  These simple fixes range between $75 and $200.  The bigger issue however is bathing.  It becomes difficult to climb into and out of the bathtub, and this activity is the cause of the majority of household falls for seniors.  Solutions which are available are the installation of a barrier free shower (zero ledge to step over) or a walk-in bathtub.  The range for either is $5,000 to $7,000 on average, and both actually raise your home’s value!

Products

There are many other products available, not listed here, to help you with “Aging In Place”. And the onetime cost of any (or even all) of these helping devices is only a fraction of a cost of just one year’s worth of rent in an assisted care facility.  Most important of all, “Aging In Place” gives you the freedom and independence you deserve, while staying in the home you love!

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