Tag: Aging in Place

18 Mar

Aging in Place and Safety Considerations

Nick Esterbauer Elder Law, General Interest, Health / Medical Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

Our blog has previously featured posts about the concept of aging in place.  Survey results suggest that the vast majority (93% of respondents aged 65 or older) of Canadians wish to continue living at home for as long as possible as they age.  Benefits of aging in place may include lower costs (relative to living in long-term care), increased comfort, slower advancement of memory loss, strengthening of social networks, and continued independence and self-determination.

For many, with old age comes physical limitations that may result in decreased mobility and expose seniors to an increased risk of accidents while living at home, whether they are living with or without the assistance of caregivers or other support, absent sufficient safety measures.  We recently discovered a guide to making homes senior-safe, which is available online for free through the Senior Safety Reviews website.

The guide features the following:

  • 34 practical tips to assist in preventing falls;
  • Measures that may assist in the prevention of theft, elder abuse, burns and fires;
  • Technology that can be used to promote at-home safety; and
  • Preparing the home for extreme weather.

The guide reports that, notwithstanding the goal of many individuals to remain at home into old age, only 1% of homes are currently equipped to safely facilitate aging in place.

This user-friendly guide may be of assistance to older clients and supportive family members in allowing seniors to safely age in place.

Thank you for reading.

Nick Esterbauer

02 Aug

Aging in Place in Canada

Nick Esterbauer Elder Law, General Interest, In the News Tags: , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

A recent survey commissioned by HomeEquity Bank suggests that the majority of older Canadians plan on staying in their homes as they age (otherwise known as aging in place) rather than downsizing and/or moving into assisted living or retirement communities.  93% of survey respondents aged 65 or older felt that it was important that they remain at their current home throughout retirement.  69% of them advised that their primary reason for wishing to remain at home was to maintain independence as they age.

The older respondents (75 years or older) advised that it was important to them that they remain in their current home to stay close to family, friends, and/or the community (51%) and that emotional attachment and memories were also contributing factors (40%).

In order to remain living at home as long as possible into retirement, advance planning in terms of finances and logistics may be necessary.  A recent article appearing in Forbes suggests that the following steps, unrelated to financial planning, may be especially useful in facilitating successful aging in place:

  • Maintaining social connections to avoid social isolation;
  • Identifying who will help, whether family members, friends, or public services;
  • Planning for the transition as needs change over time and identifying the resources and services available in the community;
  • Preparing the home to accommodate increased needs (for example, by installing grab bars and a chair in the shower);
  • Reviewing and updating the plan to age in place as may be necessary (due to a change in health, available support, or financial constraints).

Notwithstanding one’s plans to continue living at the family home, increasing longevity, a lack of liquidity, unrealistic expectations in terms of income sources after retirement, and the high cost (or local inaccessibility) of caregiving services may contribute to a decision to sell the home and relocate earlier than intended.

Thank you for reading.

Nick Esterbauer

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