When you think about retiring and spending time with family and friends, you probably picture yourself living in your own home.  The term for this living arrangement “aging in place” means being able to live out the rest of your life in the comfort of your own residence.  As we get older, there will be changes to our health which could make staying home more challenging.  However, with the right plan, you still may be able to age in place. 

Creating the Right Plan

Having stable retirement funds is a good foundation for being able to afford to stay in your home.  As you prepare for retirement, you should put together a realistic budget which accounts for your anticipated cost of living including medical expenses.  It would be best if you also were thinking about how you intend to cover healthcare expenses. While Medicare will be available for routine hospital and doctor visits, it will not cover long-term care.  Long-term care includes personal care services which you may need in your home.  You have the option of either paying out-of-pocket (which is not realistic for most people), having long-term care insurance, or using Medicaid to pay for long-term care.  By being prepared for the possibility of this expense, you can help ensure that you can stay at home while having the services you need.

Working With Family

Another way to support your plan to age in place is by talking about your preferences with your family and other loved ones.  The people in your life can help you identify resources and support your decision.  For instance, if you have adult children, they are probably going to be in a good position to advocate for you should it become necessary.  By talking with them now, you will be clarifying your preferences and helping them be ready for the future.

Assessing your Living Situation

As you think about what life will be like as you age in your home, it is essential to evaluate how suitable the space will be to your needs.  For instance, you may live in a two-story house which works for you right now but would be less accommodating if you lost mobility.  You may also already have a health condition which will later require specialized medical equipment such as a wheelchair.  This may be an excellent time to consider any remodeling which would help make the home more accessible for you.  By going through your home with these considerations in mind you can plan to make the necessary changes which will work for you.

Michigan PACE Services

The Michigan PACE or Programs of All-Inclusive Care and the MI-Choice Waiver programs are offered in the State of Michigan, and those programs are specifically designed to support aging in place.  By using an interdisciplinary team approach, PACE and MI-Choice Waiver programs assist qualifying Michigan seniors in their home who need long-term care services. 

With careful preparation and planning aging in place can be a realistic goal. We have experience helping clients understand the options available to them for aging in place and can help you plan for the future. Please contact us online or by phone if we may be of assistance.

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