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August 17, 2013

From the Office: To age in place -- or not -- involves many decisions


Once you have addressed the above items, move on to:

• Removing, if possible, or reducing the number and/or height, as well as increasing the horizontal depth, of steps.

• Creating a clear, no-step path to the bedroom and bathroom.

• Rearrange or reposition furniture for ease of access.

• If finances allow, bathroom modifications should also be considered.

But is this right for you?

Moving to a senior community or assisted living can be expensive, but so can getting your home ready to age in place and purchasing needed assistance as well as ongoing maintenance, taxes, insurance payments, etc.

Some things to consider when deciding whether to invest in your home and services or to consider other living arrangements include:

• Are you retired and want a different lifestyle?

• Are you tired of mowing and snow removal?

• Is making arrangements for repairs and renovations getting you down?

• Has your neighborhood changed as far as safety, convenience, etc.?

• Are the utilities and other expenses getting to be too much?

• Do you want to be closer to your kids or other family members?

• Are the stairs getting to be too much?

• Are you giving up driving and transportation is a problem?

What are the options if you decide to move? There are a wide variety of options to consider, which will depend upon the community you choose. One option is to choose a smaller, more-accessible, energy-efficient, conveniently located single-family home; senior living communities can have homes to purchase or independent living apartments. There are senior-only manufactured housing communities and apartment complexes that have age restrictions and some that don’t, but for what ever reason the residents are primarily older adults. If you need help with personal care, you may want to consider assisted living, or an adult home or other institutional options, if you have greater needs.

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