When the issue “Can mom and dad stay in their home?” arises, getting aging parents on board with making modifications can be a challenge. To help them stay home as long as possible, family members and caregivers need to ascertain if they’re having physical or cognitive problems, and plan ahead before there’s a crisis.
Some 90 percent of people age 65 and over say they want to spend their senior years at home making independent choices and maintaining control of their lives. Aging in place has psychological benefits, allowing seniors to remain involved in daily activities in a familiar environment, and also financial benefits, as assisted living facilities average close to $50,000 annually.
But as time takes its toll, aging in place can be problematic. If you sense a decline in home upkeep or self-care, it’s best to be proactive. This requires more than a phone call, as the answer to “How are you?” will most likely be “Fine.” Making staying at home viable calls for a fact-finding mission.
Sleuthing begins with a visit. Watch as they move through daily routines. Do they “furniture surf” when moving around the house? Are they unsteady on steps? Did the lost car keys end up in the refrigerator?