How to Age-in-Place with “Smart Aging”
Many seniors are opting to stay in their homes as they grow older, a phenomenon titled “aging-in-place.” Instead of planning to move into an assisted living facility, seniors are working towards creating a safe home environment as they age as an alternative.
A recent poll conducted by the University of Michigan found that 9 in 10 Americans between ages 50 and 80 stated that it was important for them to remain in their homes as they age.1 Those who have lived in their homes for years or who want to remain in close proximity to family and friends may desire this same outcome over assisted living.
Understanding the considerations and costs to aging-in-place are important for seniors to weigh when future planning. Knowing what is needed to create the right environment at home for safe and easy living will help determine what is best.
What to Consider for Aging-in-Place
There are many factors to be considered when thinking about aging-in-place, including safety, household chores, and meal planning. Understanding the needs and costs will help when choosing the best course of action for you. Weigh each of these top concerns carefully when considering aging-in-place.
- Mobility within the home and outside the home
Do you have stairs in your house? Do you need help running errands around town? Mobility is an important function inside and outside the home and will be a factor if you plan to age at home. To help with this, certain medical equipment could be used in your house, and some of these may be covered by Medicare. If you are interested in seeing which Medicare Supplement plans offer the best coverage on medical equipment, speak with a licensed insurance agent today or visit www.medicaresupplement.com/form to compare your different plan options.
- Safety concerns
This is especially important if you live at home alone. Having parameters in place for safety is key within the home whether that be handrails near steps, non-slip tubs or showers, or having an emergency alert system.
- Meal planning
This can be a taxing and time-consuming process for many seniors. It requires a lot of steps in order to accomplish everything from planning a grocery list, shopping, and preparing the meal. It may be a good idea to consider alternatives to meal planning on your own if you desire aging in place.
- Everyday Chores or Activities
Some seniors may need more care for everyday chores such as cleaning the house, doing laundry, or washing dishes. It may be a good idea to consider a caretaker who comes a few times a week to help around the house.
“Smart Aging”: A Solution for Aging in Place
For those who desire to age-in-place, “smart aging” is a great strategy to implement! Smart aging means utilizing technology and voice recognition tools to help seniors with everyday tasks so they can live at home safely. This is especially effective for those who live at home alone. Technology and automation have improved many aspects of modern day living and many of these tools can be added to a home to make it a safer environment for seniors.
Here are the top smart tools seniors should implement in their homes if they hope to age-in-place.
- Smart Voice Assistant
There are many devices on the market that use voice activation for a variety of helpful functions. Google Nest or Amazon Alexa can help with making lists, setting reminders, and placing phone calls. Having a voice activated device like this can remind seniors when to take pills, call someone when they need assistance, and make grocery lists or a chores list for their caretaker. These voice assistants can even be linked to a smart hub connecting to a home’s Wifi, door locks, and lights.
- Smart Stoves and Ovens
If you plan to cook for yourself at home, smart ovens and stoves are a great idea. These appliances will shut off after five minutes of inactivity, so you never have to be worried about remembering to turn it off.
- Emergency Alert Systems
If you live at home, and particularly if you live at home alone, it is important to have an emergency alert system in place. There are companies that offer varying alert systems, ranging from pendants and watches or hubs in your home. Another popular alternative is using Amazon Alexa which has a feature to either call someone in case of an emergency or has the ability to call 911 on your behalf.
- Smart Pill Dispenser
Owning a smart pill dispenser will eliminate the need for reminders or ingesting an incorrect dosage. There are multiple smart dispensers on the market, making it customizable to fit your needs.
Aging-in-place is growing in popularity as more and more seniors want to remain in the comfort of their own homes as they age. Provide your loved ones with peace of mind as you weigh options for creating a safe home environment that ages well with you.
Consider potential concerns in your home now and set up protocols for safe living. Smart aging can assist seniors in many ways as they prepare their home for the future. By implementing some of these devices, your home will be set up effectively for aging-in-place.
1 Health News - Americans Over 50 Want to 'Age in Place' at Home, But Many Aren't Prepared: Poll. US News. 2022. https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2022-04-13/americans-over-50-want-to-age-in-place-at-home-but-many-arent-prepared-poll.