If your elderly family member has mentioned that she wants to age in place, you need to sit down with her and work out a plan. That plan might be what gives her what she needs now to age in place later.
Planning Gives You Both a Roadmap
A goal is great, but a plan shows you how you’re going to get there. With the right plan, your aging family member is going to be better able to do what she needs to do in order to age in place. She needs to be aware not only of what her needs are now, but what they’re likely to be in the future. That’s the part of planning that often gets a little scary.
Make Sure to Plan for Possible Health Changes
You and your senior don’t have to have all of the answers right now about how she’s going to age in place, but you need to be realistic. The first step in being realistic is that you need to account for as much of the known health changes as you can. If you already are aware that she has high blood pressure, for instance, you need to make sure that her plans include what you’ll both do if that problem gets worse instead of better.
Factor in ADLs
Activities of daily living, often shortened to ADL, are activities that your senior does every day. They’re things like getting dressed, feeding herself, and going to the bathroom when she needs to. These are activities that your senior might be just fine handling now, but in several years, and after several health changes, is she going to need more help? It’s a good idea to talk about elderly care providers now, so that you can both know when you’ve decided that it’s time for more help with those types of activities.
Make Backup Plans, But Don’t Stress
The truth is that your plan isn’t necessarily going to go the way you or your senior want it to go. There’s always some variable that no one could have guessed would become a factor. It’s important to have backup plans, but make sure that you and your senior aren’t stressing yourselves out over those backup plans. It’s enough to say that you’re planning for what you know about and that there are some variables that might require a new plan on the fly.
This is about putting together the best roadmap that you can to help your elderly loved one to meet her goal of aging in place. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and you might revisit the plan more than once.