A Guide to Staying in Your Own Home as You Get Older (2024)

A Guide to Staying in Your Own Home as You Get Older (1)

Many people hope to maintain their independence for as long as possible as they age. This includes staying in their own homes, called “aging in place.”

But to live safely in your own home as you get older requires planning, and it's best to make your aging-in-place plan before you require a lot of care. Speak with your loved ones to ensure they understand your preferences, and that you understand the level of care they are able to provide.

Here are some steps to get your started:

Assess the help you currently need

“Help” is a wide category that includes anything from help with yard work to medication administration. Examples include:

  • Personal care—Bathing, dressing, grooming, using the toilet, eating, getting in and out of bed, etc.
  • Household chores—Housecleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, etc.
  • Money management—Paying bills, filling out health insurance forms, etc.
  • Transportation—Rides to appointments, the grocery store, etc.

Consider any illnesses that may require greater help in the future

If you are unsure about the progression of an illness (such as heart disease or diabetes), ask your health care provider. Your provider may also be able to suggest resources and agencies in your community that can provide the types of assistance you may need.

Account for resources

Generally, resources to support you living at home as you get older can be either formal or informal:

  • Informal caregivers—friends, family, and neighbors—are often the biggest source of help for older adults. Your loved ones may be able to help you with needs such as transportation, household chores, and more.
  • Formal services are provided by professionals and can be arranged for a variety of needs—from help with chores around the house to home health care services (assistance with medication, medical equipment, physical or occupational therapy, and more).

Consider your finances

Depending on your exact needs, you may need to budget for:

  • Medical alert systems and monthly service costs—These systems respond to medical and other emergencies—such as a fall—using an electronic monitor that you wear.
  • Adult day care services—These programs offer social activities, exercise, meals, personal care, and basic health care services in a safe environment under the supervision of trained staff. Generally, they're less expensive than in-home or facility-based care, and some facilities may even offer pick up and drop off services.
  • Transportation services—Formal transportation services drive people to and from medical appointments, shopping centers, and other places in the community. Some community groups may offer free or discounted rides. Additionally, public transportation is often discounted for older adults and people with disabilities.
  • Home health care services—This includes skilled-care services like nursing care, physical and occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, medical social services, and more. Generally, services provided in-home are less costly than facility-based care.
  • Volunteer-based companion services—Look for organizations in your community that provide regular home visits at no cost to older adults. During these short visits, a volunteer can assist with basic needs and provide companionship.
  • Meal delivery services—Some charge a fee, whereas others may offer reduced rates based on eligibility (such as age, mobility, or economic need). Senior centers and religious organizations may provide free or lower-cost meals.

Take steps to ensure your ongoing safety and independence at home

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of injury and death in older adults (age 65+). But falls do not have to be a normal part of aging, and you can reduce your risk using these four steps.

Work with our Care Management team

Our Care Management team is available to Tufts Health Plan Medicare Advantage members at no extra cost. The team can help with identifying your needs, creating your wellness plan, and identifying additional services in your community that you may be eligible for.

To work with our Care Management team, call Member Services at 1-800-701-9000 (TTY: 711) (HMO) or 1-866-623-0172 (TTY: 711) (PPO)

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A Guide to Staying in Your Own Home as You Get Older (2)

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A Guide to Staying in Your Own Home as You Get Older (2024)


A Guide to Staying in Your Own Home as You Get Older? ›

Aging in place

Aging in place
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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".
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Aging_in_place
is the process of staying in your own home as you grow older instead of moving to an outside facility. To properly age in place, you should create a budget, discuss options with your family, connect with home health services and identify necessary home modification projects.

How to stay in your own home as you age? ›

AARP has identified several easy modifications that will ensure your home is safe. These include non-slip floor surfaces, grab bars in bathrooms, lever-handled doorknobs, and personal alert systems that enable you to call for help in emergencies.

What are the three stages of old age? ›

But a 65 year old's experience of life is much different from a 90 year old's. The United States' older adult population can thus, be divided into three life-stage subgroups: the young-old (approximately 65 to 74 years old), the middle-old (ages 75 to 84 years old), and the old-old (over age 85).

How do you live alone when you're older? ›

  1. Take a walk to get some exercise. Being physically active is good for your mind as well as your body. ...
  2. Think about getting a pet. A dog or cat is not a replacement for humans, but they can be very good company, especially when you are feeling down.
  3. Get some sleep. ...
  4. Try something new. ...
  5. Connect with people.
Oct 6, 2023

What is the idea that most older adults prefer to stay in their own home as they age called? ›

Staying in your own home as you get older is called “aging in place.” But many older adults and their families have concerns about safety, getting around, or other daily activities. Living at home as you age requires careful consideration and planning.

What age is considered elderly? ›

Traditionally, the “elderly” are considered to be those persons age 65 and older.

Should a 70 year old live alone? ›

The consequences of living in isolation or dealing with feelings of loneliness as a senior can be detrimental. Some accompanying health risks include: Higher rates of depression, anxiety, and even suicide. Risk of premature death.

What are the three stages of age? ›

When we talk about the concept of life stages, three distinct phases come to mind: childhood, adulthood, and old age. However, there is a greater degree of nuance to the life cycle of a human. We are all unique individuals that feel, think, and experience different things as we grow in years of age.

What should a 70 year old be doing? ›

Reading, working puzzles, and learning new things are just some of the many brain-stimulating activities that can help seniors in their 70s maintain good brain health. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care.

What is the last stage of old age? ›

End of Life

End of life is the last stage in the aging process. At this point, the senior is nearing their final days. Some older adults choose to stop receiving medical treatment and enter hospice care, and others wish to continue receiving the same services.

What is the best cure for loneliness in old age? ›

Here are ways for older people to connect with others, and feel useful and appreciated again.
  • Smile, even if it feels hard. ...
  • Invite friends for tea. ...
  • Keep in touch by phone. ...
  • Learn to love computers. ...
  • Get involved in local community activities. ...
  • Fill your diary. ...
  • Get out and about. ...
  • Help others.

What happens when you live alone for a long time? ›

Some research suggests that loneliness can increase stress. It's also associated with an increased risk of certain mental health problems. For example, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and sleep problems. My anxiety and depression isolates me from people and stops me from being able to do the things I'd like to do.

How do you know when elderly can no longer live alone? ›

Changes in hygiene and appearance, memory lapses, reduced mobility, lack of housekeeping and yard work, unopened mail and unpaid bills, withdrawal from friends and activities, and mood swings are all warning signs that an elderly person may no longer be able to live alone.

What are the disadvantages of elderly living in their own home? ›

Keeping a home clean and functional is a lot of work. Taking care of daily tasks can be overwhelming, especially for seniors who may already be struggling. … can become nearly impossible. Seniors often find that they need some assistance taking care of these tasks and they cannot get that assistance on their own.

Why would a senior citizen want to stay in their home? ›

The Growing Trend of Seniors Choosing to Stay in Their Homes

This desire is not only influenced by emotional attachment, but also by practical considerations such as cost-effectiveness, personalized care, and access to familiar services and amenities.

Why do elderly want to go home? ›

Often when a person with dementia asks to go home it refers to the sense of 'home' rather than home itself. 'Home' may represent memories of a time or place that was comfortable and secure and where they felt relaxed and happier. It could also be an indefinable place that may not physically exist.

Is it normal to want to stay home as you get older? ›

While the vast majority of older people prefer to stay in their home and their community, sometimes it's not the best or right decision. Making this decision for yourself or your loved one can be challenging and heart-wrenching.

What is the average age to get your own house? ›

In a recent study analyzing the "sliding homeownership ladder," data showed the majority of residents in California don't own a home until age 49. SUGGESTED: These are the top US states people moved to and from in 2023: See how California ranked. 10 most dangerous neighborhoods in Los Angeles, according to PropertyClub.

What happens if an elderly person has no one to care for them? ›

Local government agencies often offer programs specifically designed to assist elderly individuals without caregivers. These programs may include financial aid, home-delivered meals, transportation services, and access to healthcare resources.

Which is the most common form of elder abuse? ›

Emotional abuse, defined as the infliction of mental pain, anguish, or distress on an elder person, either through verbal or nonverbal acts, is the most common form of elder abuse reported to protective agencies.


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