What plans are you making to age at home?

Posted by alive @alive, Jun 4 6:31am

While I am not at a point where I need assistance and still able to take care of myself, my house etc, I am very much concerned about the time when I will need assistance. My husband and I live in a two story house and plan to eventually install a chair lift to be able to navigate the stairs better. One thing I am adamant about is that I want to remain in my home for the rest of my life. I don’t like the idea of going to assistant living or a nursing home. For those of you who are at a point of needing assistance, how are you able to make it work and remain at home? I know that resources differ based on where one lives, but where did you start with your search for help and are you satisfied with the assistance you are getting?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Aging Well group.

@alive, you're wise to be thinking about aging at home and retrofitting your home to accommodate staying in place now rather than later. This discussion is somewhat related to this one:
– Downsizing, To Move or Not to Move? That is the Question: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/to-move-or-not-to-move-that-is-the-question/

I bet @thankful @rosemarya @emd52 @fourof5zs @lelalofgren @IndianaScott and others have some thoughts to add to this discussion.

Alive, what plans might you have in place to house and property maintenance?

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@colleenyoung

@alive, you're wise to be thinking about aging at home and retrofitting your home to accommodate staying in place now rather than later. This discussion is somewhat related to this one:
– Downsizing, To Move or Not to Move? That is the Question: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/to-move-or-not-to-move-that-is-the-question/

I bet @thankful @rosemarya @emd52 @fourof5zs @lelalofgren @IndianaScott and others have some thoughts to add to this discussion.

Alive, what plans might you have in place to house and property maintenance?

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The Senior Linkage Line is a great resource…
1-800-333-2433

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@colleenyoung

@alive, you're wise to be thinking about aging at home and retrofitting your home to accommodate staying in place now rather than later. This discussion is somewhat related to this one:
– Downsizing, To Move or Not to Move? That is the Question: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/to-move-or-not-to-move-that-is-the-question/

I bet @thankful @rosemarya @emd52 @fourof5zs @lelalofgren @IndianaScott and others have some thoughts to add to this discussion.

Alive, what plans might you have in place to house and property maintenance?

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Moving from the Midwest to Arizona was the first step towards retirement for us. I have a hard time walking in the snow and slippery surfaces and Arizona solved this problem. My husband will be retiring next year and we are trying to do everything we need to do to make our backyard
relatively maintenance free. It was just dirt, rocks and occasional weeds in our backyard when we moved here two years ago. We want to tile some floors in our house and want to accomplish it before getting down on our hands and knees will keep us from being able to get up. 😀 We are also considering getting electric bikes to get into better shape. I have problems with my feet which makes walking for any length of time challenging. So, we are adjusting to our limitations, but also want to move forward to get into shape as we age.

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@colleenyoung

@alive, you're wise to be thinking about aging at home and retrofitting your home to accommodate staying in place now rather than later. This discussion is somewhat related to this one:
– Downsizing, To Move or Not to Move? That is the Question: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/to-move-or-not-to-move-that-is-the-question/

I bet @thankful @rosemarya @emd52 @fourof5zs @lelalofgren @IndianaScott and others have some thoughts to add to this discussion.

Alive, what plans might you have in place to house and property maintenance?

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@alive, @colleenyoung, and all…Congratulations on addressing this elephant in all our lives. You are blessed to have each other for making decisions and companionship. I live alone with my kitty. 2 story condo, 3 BR,2 bath upstairs, 1/2bath down. So no downstairs BR. If possible, I would be sure to set up my master BR/bath downstairs. I can't. So, I turned one small BR into a mini kitchen w/fridge, microwave, coffee maker, etc. Also, added comfy furniture and TV so I have a sitting room upstairs. This helps so much when I'm recuperating from illness or hospital and need to avoid the stairs for a couple of days. It's working out well.

I'm 75, have multiple health issues and no help. Connect is one important life-line that's saving my sanity! You have already begun your journey and are ahead of the game.

Hopefully, some things you learn from this site will help you on this journey through this aging process. Fun time!
Be well, be safe a d be blessed. Elizabeth

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@ess77

@alive, @colleenyoung, and all…Congratulations on addressing this elephant in all our lives. You are blessed to have each other for making decisions and companionship. I live alone with my kitty. 2 story condo, 3 BR,2 bath upstairs, 1/2bath down. So no downstairs BR. If possible, I would be sure to set up my master BR/bath downstairs. I can't. So, I turned one small BR into a mini kitchen w/fridge, microwave, coffee maker, etc. Also, added comfy furniture and TV so I have a sitting room upstairs. This helps so much when I'm recuperating from illness or hospital and need to avoid the stairs for a couple of days. It's working out well.

I'm 75, have multiple health issues and no help. Connect is one important life-line that's saving my sanity! You have already begun your journey and are ahead of the game.

Hopefully, some things you learn from this site will help you on this journey through this aging process. Fun time!
Be well, be safe a d be blessed. Elizabeth

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Thank you for sharing what’s working for you! Stairs are already becoming a challenge for me, and like you – all my bedrooms and bathrooms with showers are upstairs. I like your idea of setting up a mini kitchen and a sitting area upstairs! I think a chair lift is going to be part of our plan, but I can see that your temporary set up can definitely be a short term solution.

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We moved from Michigan to southern New Mexico in 2002 into a no steps to enter, one floor, 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with 1 walk in shower and kitchen counter tops and dishwasher at almost perfect heights. The yards requires 4 visits a year by our yard service. We followed Mayo's advice and don't use ladders inside or outside the house — meaning we hire someone to change filters, light bulbs, and dust the fans. We decided it is less expensive to pay as we go along rather than have a medical issue from a ladder fall. Our physician said, "Joe, stop using ladders." My wife said, "I am with him when he is on a ladder." Doc said, "What are you going to do if he falls? Watch? Call 911 if you have your phone?" If we get snow during the winter it is gone by noon. Instead, we have a few "too windy/dusty to be outside walking or riding days" during early Spring.

We anticipate having problems if we need someone to come into the house to help with long-term or hospice care. That might be a problem regardless of location, but we would like to hear if someone has found a good location or resource for reliable in-home long-term or hospice care.

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@elimseoj

We moved from Michigan to southern New Mexico in 2002 into a no steps to enter, one floor, 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with 1 walk in shower and kitchen counter tops and dishwasher at almost perfect heights. The yards requires 4 visits a year by our yard service. We followed Mayo's advice and don't use ladders inside or outside the house — meaning we hire someone to change filters, light bulbs, and dust the fans. We decided it is less expensive to pay as we go along rather than have a medical issue from a ladder fall. Our physician said, "Joe, stop using ladders." My wife said, "I am with him when he is on a ladder." Doc said, "What are you going to do if he falls? Watch? Call 911 if you have your phone?" If we get snow during the winter it is gone by noon. Instead, we have a few "too windy/dusty to be outside walking or riding days" during early Spring.

We anticipate having problems if we need someone to come into the house to help with long-term or hospice care. That might be a problem regardless of location, but we would like to hear if someone has found a good location or resource for reliable in-home long-term or hospice care.

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Good morning @elimseoj I'm Scott and I was my wife's caregiver for many years. The last two and a half required hospice care. Doing my research I discovered the offerings for hospice vary all over the map and are highly dependent on what is offered in your community, what is covered under your insurance, etc. My wife really wanted home hospice care when the time came. We only had two organizations offering that in our area. One had high marks, the other not so high so the decision was easy for us. That said, we did have substantial issues with insurance, especially since she was well under Medicare age.

So I would say our biggest learning "plus" was that we needed to do some substantial research for our choice.

We lived in NM for several years and well recall the lines of sand/dust by every door 🙂 We actually moved back to the Midwest due to medical care inequality issues we experienced for her in NM. Hopefully you are not seeing any of that!

Strength, Courage, & Peace

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We too are making these decisions, while we are still able-bodied. But we have stairs, into both living levels. The house, which we have kept updated, is 50 years old, so… And we have a large, labor-intensive yard with a pond and many gardens. So a move is in our plans, and we have decided to eventually move to a one-level townhome.

We know we will need a small garden area, a porch or deck and a 2 car garage, which are hard to find. We are committed to staying geographically near our current home, so we have to watch for the "right" one to become available.

In the meanwhile, we are continuing to thin our possessions, which after 40 years is monumental, especially since we are only here 6 months each year. Each summer we choose one area to attack – last year it was 3 outdoor sheds. This year we have begun the garage – eliminating duplicate tools and those no longer used. Recycling or discarding all the stuff we saved "just in case." Removing all the old auto repair items no longer used. Sorting the remainder into easy-to-reach, well labeled totes. So far I have made a scrap-yard trip, a recycling day trip, filled the trash cans countless times, and discarded bundles of old cardboard. Next up: the paint shelves, and sorting 2 generations of hand tools.

My goal is to have only what we need/want when the day comes to move. Or if we decide not to move, to not leave all of that for our kids to deal with.
Sue

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Good morning, @alive Your post brought back many memories for me. I am sure others have far more positive experiences or live in areas with more services available, but this is what I found.

All I can add as an answer to your question is with us it took a whale of a lot of trial and error, finding good resources, then having them disappear or go out of the business. I discovered finding caring services was just as challenging as finding a handiman, a good plumber, or a dedicated PC doc. A significant challenge for us was finding individuals who actually wanted to do in-home care work. Some were personality problems, two actually burgled our house, one tried to convenience my wife to write me out of our wills and name her, and one was so verbally abusive I got a call from our local coffee shop while I was out of town to tell me. So a ton of trial and error. We found this to be true with every for-profit home care company as many employed folks without the necessary knowledge. Also as my wife's needs increased, some helpers would refuse to continue working with her.

All that said, once my wife was prescribed home hospice care, we found excellent folks!

I congratulate you on thinking about this all in advance.

Strength, Courage, & Peace

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@sueinmn

We too are making these decisions, while we are still able-bodied. But we have stairs, into both living levels. The house, which we have kept updated, is 50 years old, so… And we have a large, labor-intensive yard with a pond and many gardens. So a move is in our plans, and we have decided to eventually move to a one-level townhome.

We know we will need a small garden area, a porch or deck and a 2 car garage, which are hard to find. We are committed to staying geographically near our current home, so we have to watch for the "right" one to become available.

In the meanwhile, we are continuing to thin our possessions, which after 40 years is monumental, especially since we are only here 6 months each year. Each summer we choose one area to attack – last year it was 3 outdoor sheds. This year we have begun the garage – eliminating duplicate tools and those no longer used. Recycling or discarding all the stuff we saved "just in case." Removing all the old auto repair items no longer used. Sorting the remainder into easy-to-reach, well labeled totes. So far I have made a scrap-yard trip, a recycling day trip, filled the trash cans countless times, and discarded bundles of old cardboard. Next up: the paint shelves, and sorting 2 generations of hand tools.

My goal is to have only what we need/want when the day comes to move. Or if we decide not to move, to not leave all of that for our kids to deal with.
Sue

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We also had to do a lot of remodeling, painting and downsizing before moving to AZ from MI. It’s exhausting and challenging going through years of accumulations. We had a full basement in Michigan that had two additional bedrooms, family room and my husband’s workshop. There are no basements where we are in Arizona. So, we REALLY downsized.

Good luck with your downsizing. I hope you will find a home you love soon!

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@IndianaScott

Good morning, @alive Your post brought back many memories for me. I am sure others have far more positive experiences or live in areas with more services available, but this is what I found.

All I can add as an answer to your question is with us it took a whale of a lot of trial and error, finding good resources, then having them disappear or go out of the business. I discovered finding caring services was just as challenging as finding a handiman, a good plumber, or a dedicated PC doc. A significant challenge for us was finding individuals who actually wanted to do in-home care work. Some were personality problems, two actually burgled our house, one tried to convenience my wife to write me out of our wills and name her, and one was so verbally abusive I got a call from our local coffee shop while I was out of town to tell me. So a ton of trial and error. We found this to be true with every for-profit home care company as many employed folks without the necessary knowledge. Also as my wife's needs increased, some helpers would refuse to continue working with her.

All that said, once my wife was prescribed home hospice care, we found excellent folks!

I congratulate you on thinking about this all in advance.

Strength, Courage, & Peace

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Wow! That sounds like a nightmare! That’s also my fear. It’s sad that there are so few good options for in home care as we age.

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@alive, @IndianaScott, @sueinmn, and all…
I'm now in my 4th downsizing…4th and final, thank the good Lord. I have lived in this 2 story condo for 30 years, with several years also living with my fiance in his home, with pool/pool house, decks, porch, garden-small, 2 car garage and he had a lot of tosols, tractor-mower, etc. I helped him downsize when he moved to my condo with 3 garage sales, and selling online. Etc.

I've done the same for my mother. Then, after my fiance died in a car accident, I had an estate sale, sold some things online and with a dealer.

Now, since he and I planned renovations to my condo, I've been living in a partially renovated home for several years, as I dealt with multiple medical issues and hospitalizations. I have most of my furniture in storage!

Well. Friday, I had a plumber to repair my sons sink, asked if he knew anyone who could help me with repairs, etc, he gave me a card. Called and she visited this morning. A delightful, female contractor! I love her!

She will be over this weekend to repair wall, ceiling, tile damage after another plumber cuts into 3 baths, LR, DR to replace a cracked, leaking cast iron drainage pipe.

Quite a saga….her 23 year old daughter will help me organize, set up a final estate sale inside my LR,DR, list online and have a dealer friend sell some items. Then, the contractor will repair, paint, tile, redo kitchen and my storage unit will be empty….my home will have ONLY what I want and need for this last leg of life. I love this.

She's also repaving and walling my patio. I'm clearing out plants as we. This is a good thing…

Been wanting to get to this place for years, too many medical issues, and now, with iron infusions and God's guidance I have a real, workable plan.

I now must calm, relax, breath, and not overdo so this plan will work.

Be well. Be happy. Be blessed as we walk this crazy journey through aging! Elizabeth

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