Planning for your retirement need not be a daunting prospect and in fact, if you look at it as planning for your future, it can provide a certain level of “peace of mind”, knowing you have a solid plan in place. Many of our clients have lived in their homes for 10-30+ years or more and they have come to realize that they not only have a financial investment in their home, but an emotional investment as well. This emotional Investment can be priceless to an aging home owner. The amount of memories and positive milestones created and realized within the home can bring an aging senior a great amount of comfort and ease to fall back on in their later years.
However, there are some important items to address and be aware of if an aging senior wishes to remain in the house that they love. Listed below is a basic guide to the kinds of questions you should be asking yourself when planning to age in place in your home, during your retirement years:
1. Is it realistic to continue living in your home?
Like many millions of senior citizens in Pennsylvania today, you may wish to remain in your own home when you retire, but there are many factors you will need to consider as you look into your own future:
• If your health declines, are you still going to be able to move around the home?
• Will you be able to maintain your home, from organizing and cleaning to gardening?
• Some aspects of your home may not conform to aging and your safety needs; could this be an issue? Can it be addressed?
• Can you adhere to your medication schedule yourself, or will you need to be assisted by a healthcare professional?
• Can you cook safely for yourself, and prepare healthy, nutritious meals?
2. Can I maintain a social life and keep active?
• Are you able to keep active during the day, if not at home, then in a nearby sports hall or community centre?
• If you have no friends near your home, are there places to meet other senior citizens and socialize?
3. Will I be able to manage my finances independently?
• Do you pay bills on time and know how much you spend on utility bills each week or month?
• If you haven’t already assigned a family member to make important financial decisions on your behalf, is there someone that you can empower?
• Can that person access certain financial information of yours, such as assets, deeds and account information, should they need to?
• Do you have a current and updated will?
4. Will I still be able to drive, or should I rely on family and friends?
• If you have a car, is it in your interests to keep it; how regularly do you use it and how safe are you? If you’ve had accidents recently, are not confident driving or cannot afford to maintain a vehicle, you may want to consider using public transport.
• Are there regular public transport services that you can access easily and affordably?
5. Do you have adult children to help you when in need?
• If you’ve lived alone, you may enjoy your privacy and will need to consider who will be able to assist you if you have a temporary issue?
• How much will you have to depend on your children for different aspects of your life, from transport to personal care?
• How often will your adult children need a break from their care giving?
• If you choose to have personal or medical care at home from an agency like BrightStar, will this be acceptable to your children and how will you pay for care?
• Do your children live close to your home, and will they be able to help in emergency situations?
6. Have you researched nursing homes or assisted living options?
• If you do choose this type of care, can you be sure that they are able to provide you with the right level of care?, and if your health deteriorates, can they support you fully and provide the attention you require?
• Can you afford their fees?
• The National median cost for a Pennsylvania assisted living room is $43,200 a year.
• The annual cost for a private room in a Pennsylvania nursing home is $113,150
• How would such a move affect your family’s schedule and travel time to you?
The above items are just a few of the topics that should be considered regarding your aging in place needs. If you have questions, we would be happy to discuss this topic in more detailed manner with you.
BrightStar Care is a well-known Bucks County PA home care provider. We provide homecare, including Alzheimer’s, elder care, long term care, childcare. We also provide medical staffing solutions in Lower Bucks County, PA. We have developed an impeccable reputation throughout Bucks and Montgomery County for exceptional service and value. If you have any questions regarding aging in place for you or a loved one, we would be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you may have. If you are looking for professional caregivers in Bucks County PA, contact us at 215.750.8802. We would be happy to assist you and your family. – Brian Fitzpatrick/Owner of Bucks and Montgomery County BrightStar Care.