- Finding the best options for staying in your home as you age has never been easier.
- You can modify your existing home or search for the perfect age-in-place residence.
- Carla Freund is your expert on aging in active adult communities in the Triangle!
Plan Ahead to Age In Place
A recent study by AARP suggests that 88% of homeowners aged 65 years or older would like to stay in their existing homes and communities as they age. The good news is that with the right help and a few practical considerations, you can do just that.
Known as ”aging in place,” this means continuing to live in your own home instead of a care facility. In order to be successful, you may need only some new products and minor changes to your home, or you may want to consider moving into one of the many wonderful active adult communities in the Triangle.
Let’s take a look at the top three considerations for gracefully aging in place.
1. Evaluate your elevation and bedroom locations
As we get older, balance can become trickier, so regardless if going up and down stairs has lost its appeal or is becoming too difficult, the risk of falling presents a natural hazard for everyone. If you are committed to remaining in your home and it has stairs, adding railings to both sides of the stairs can be a crucial aging-in-place update.
However, living in a single-level, single-floor home can reduce the risk of falling by eliminating stairs and steps. It’s also worth noting that, as important as it is for you to navigate your space, any caregivers who enter your home will also need to navigate, too.
The more open and level your floorplan is, the safer and easier it will be for you to stay in your home and age in place, and 55+ adult communities offer homes that are built for easy access. You can easily search for homes in the Triangle with the main bedroom on the first floor.
2. Consider easy, low-cost bathroom modifications
The bathroom is the most accident-prone room in any home, and climbing in and out of high-sided tubs to avoid slip-and-falls is a critical consideration. To reduce the inherent risk of injury in the bathroom, walk-in showers and even walk-in tubs are preferable options for safely aging in place.
In addition, safety bars are a terrific safety measure and can be used to lower oneself to the toilet or maneuver in and out of the shower/tub area. Another simple bathroom modification you can quickly and easily do is to elevate your toilet seat, making it easier for you to sit and stand due to injury, surgery, or general difficulties.
3. Make the move to a walkable neighborhood
Studies have shown that a regular walking habit can promote weight control, but it may also provide additional health benefits for the body and mind as people age, such as improved balance. For this reason, making sure that your neighborhood is a highly walkable community is critical. If your current neighborhood is not very walkable, you may want to consider relocating to a different home in the Triangle.
Active adult communities have become increasingly focused on creating walkable communities by ensuring hazard-free and unrestricted sidewalks that provide access to grocery stores, shuttles and public transit, or community events that are a walkable distance from home.
Start Your Planning Right Away
The best time to prepare your home for aging in place is before you require it. Contact Carla Freund or give us a call at 919-602-8489 and start planning now—even if you still have some time before you’re ready to make modifications or a move. We’re your local experts on active adult lifestyles in the Triangle, and we’re always standing by to help you find your perfect place.