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How to age in place

Team Bold was lucky to speak with Florence Macauley, a certified Aging in place specialist, and the founder of Agewise Home, a business dedicated to creating solutions, processes, and plans for their clients to age at home safely and happily. The CDC defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”

Aging in place is a topic that many people don’t think about until they face an issue or obstacle to doing so. We get it — planning for your aging future can be hard to think about, filled with emotions and uncertainties. But by understanding tips and strategies from experts, you can create a plan that helps minimize the stress of the future.

Bold: First of all — what does “aging in place” mean?

Florence: To me, aging in place should begin when you decide that the home you live in today is a home you want to stay in. You want to be proactive about making sure you can stay in that home that you love.

How do you help clients prepare to age in place?

Aging in place is as unique as you are, so whatever you need in your home is what we’ll give you. Everyone is going to have a different game plan. We’re here to help you develop that.

Planning for aging in place means planning for support you don’t find in traditional healthcare communities. This could mean helping you line up housekeeping, wellness checks, transportation, or a handyman. It could mean rearranging furniture to help prevent falls and make your space the most mobility-friendly it can be. It could mean consulting with contractors on upgrades to the space to make it accessible for years in the future. I bring resources to help families plan for the best quality of life.

Clients must often feel overwhelmed about all of this. How do you help manage anxieties?

I always start with asking clients, what’s the life that you want? What’s the vision for your life? If this house is in your vision for the life you want, let’s make a plan to keep you here and happy. A lot of people think that aging in place is all about mortality, but it’s actually about living the life that you want.

What’s one thing that anyone can do now to be better prepared for aging in place comfortably?

The biggest thing is plan, plan, plan. When we are under stress or not feeling our best we don’t make the best decisions. Now is the time to plan for the life that you want in years to come.

More tactically: make sure you can easily navigate any stairs in your home, as well as the space around your bed. Here are some questions to ask:

  • Is there any clutter on the stairs or around the bed? Stacks of books, piles of belongings, etc.? If so, rearrange or remove.
  • Are there rugs or other slippery floor coverings? Consider rearranging or removing.
  • How’s your lighting? If you’re navigating at night, can you see? Invest in a night light or motion-activated lighting.

These three tips will get you started strong on your aging in place plan.

To get more insight and inspiration from Florence, check out Agewise Home

Photo credit: Kenneth Williams