Aging in Place: What to Know and How to Start

Asheville has always been a leader in resources for individuals who want to age in place. With a large, and still growing, baby boomer population, it’s essential that our community is available to provide options for older adults who want to age in place rather than in traditional nursing homes.

So, what is aging in place and what can it mean for Asheville area residents? Here is a basic overview of the concept and how Prime Mortgage Lending, Inc. can help our older residents find the right homes for their long-term plan.

What is Aging in place

Aging in Place means exactly what it indicates. It is an option for older adults to age in their own homes. In order to do it successfully, the community needs to offer resources that can enhance and facilitate this kind of lifestyle outside of a medical environment.

Many people feel that the best alternative to aging in a nursing home or other facility is to age in your own home. And for these older adults, it is a fantastic alternative. There are multiple in-home services that can help people maintain their independence in their own homes as they age.

For some, aging in place can look like aging in community.

Community, but not nursing homes, is complimentary to aging in place. It allows older adults to live together to reduce expenses and provide support for one another.

Whether or not you choose to age in your own home or buy a home for yourself or a group of older adults to share, it’s important to understand the process, how to finance and purchase a home that will facilitate aging, and the resources available in the community.

 Adapting a Current Home

This is a very popular topic. All you have to do is type it into Google to find plenty of suggestions and resources to help you adapt your home to age in place and in comfort.

There are a variety of resources available, but here are just a few tips that can help you get your current home in a position to be more comfortable as you age.

  • Improve lighting: Your eyes aren’t getting any younger. It can be helpful to handle daily tasks in the right lighting.
  • Replace your toilet: Bathrooms aren’t always designed with aging in mind, so be sure to replace inaccessible fixtures with more accessible ones.
  • Walk-in shower: A tub is also a challenge for a lot of older adults as they start to have mobility issues. You can remove some of the obstacles by installing a walk-in shower. Be sure to include hand rails even if you don’t need them right now.
  • Add slide out cabinets: Your kitchen can also use an upgrade. You don’t need to crawl on the floor to dig in the back of those corner cabinets. Add pull-outs to help you access your things.
  • Incorporate additional counter heights: At various times, you may find it easier to sit while you’re preparing meals. Add a lower counter to help you with this process.
  • Avoid stairs: if you have steps to your front door, you may wish to add a ramp. This can help if you find yourself in need of a wheelchair or walker to help with mobility in the future.

Here are some additional resources to help you plan adaptations to your current home:

Buy a Home to Age in Place

Of course, there may be cases where adapting your current home for aging in place isn’t going to work out economically. In this case, buying a new home may be a good fit for you. You may be living in another city or state but want the slower pace of life afforded in the Asheville community. Or maybe your home has several stories and staircases that will become more difficult as you age.

You can work with Prime Mortgage Lending, Inc. to help you find a great new home in the greater WNC area. You can put together a wish list and a budget and your team will assist you with finding your dream home to age in place. We can even help you find a real estate professional who can help make your goals a reality.

Long Term Planning

Before you get started on your own, definitely look at resources, like this one, to help you with long term planning.

But to give you a brief overview, here are some thoughts to start with.

  • Your family’s role.
  • Medical care requirements.
  • Legal requirements.
  • Long term care plan.
  • Home renovations necessary.
  • Budget for buying or modifying a home.

Local Asheville Resources

The Asheville community has a number of resources that may help individuals interested in aging in place or aging in community.

Women for Living in Community and Asheville resident Marianne Kilkenny is an advocate for aging in place or community. Her book, Your Quest for Home, is a great workbook to help older adults determine what they want for their futures.

The Asheville publication Aging Resources can provide details that will help older adults determine their options when looking to age in place.

Aging in Place Asheville also offers local resources to allow older adults to review their alternatives.

The Council on Aging in Buncombe County is another option for adults looking to age in place.

If you think that aging in place may be for you, contact Prime Mortgage Lending, Inc. to see how we can help you get started.