Just get started
Many people seem to think that they can’t age in place, even though that’s exactly what they are doing while they ponder whether they can. They feel that they somehow need to get ready for it. While making mental and physical preparations may make the decision easier, there is nothing required. No prerequisites.
People do not need to attain a certain age, be homeowners, have lived in their present home a certain amount of time, have physical limitations that require some type of intervention or provision, live in a specific type of home or neighborhood, have a large budget or income, or many of the other things they may have imagined, been told, or heard about in various ways.
Aging in place just means continuing to live where someone is right now with no plans to replace that home with something else.
Waiting is just procrastination
Some people feel that they want to age in place, but they’re not sure they are ready or they don’t think they know what it entails. So, they wait. Waiting is not the answer. Actually, while they are waiting, they are aging in place anyway – just not as effectively as they might if they were committed to it.
Aging in place does not take any huge commitment or announcement. We don’t need to have a party where we announce it to loved ones and friends – like a major life milestone. We don’t need to post anything on social media. What we need to do it embrace the concept and begin from where we are.
Some people are concerned about what their neighbors or family might think and they want to get their approval before making the commitment to age in place where they are. Having others agree with our choices is nice, but it is not a requirement or prerequisite for getting started.
There’s no particular financial commitment
Some people approach the concept of aging in place like it’s a significant financial undertaking – like a move, a major vacation, college, or other customarily large expenditures people encounter in a lifetime. The great thing about aging in place is that it can begin today and doesn’t have to cost a cent.
True, people will identify areas of their home they would like to improve, and there will need to be some spent to do that – whether they do some or all of the work themselves (depending on what it is) or they bring in professionals for their help. Still, there is a range of choices and outcomes that people can select that will then impact and affect the budget.
There’s no time like the present
Since the decision to age in place – if it’s actually a verbal conscious decision that is shared out loud with family members or friends or a less formal, more quiet decision that possibly isn’t even shared outside of the household – is a personal one and one without any legal requirements or other prerequisites, it can begin today. Maybe it’s already begun.
It can start when someone is in their twenties when they have identified a home that serves them well (possibly a farmstead or generational home that their parents had previously), it can be that first home purchase at any age, or it can the current home that people have come to enjoy when they realize they don’t need to look past what they already have for anything else.
There is no need to wait for tomorrow, no soul-searching that needs to occur to make sure this is a wise decision, no checking with anyone else, no forms to file, or anything else that needs to be done before deciding that the current home is the one that someone wants to continue occupying. Until or unless a future unforeseen event affects their ability to maintain their home, by themselves or with the help of family or outside caregivers, aging in place can and does happen just by staying put in one’s home. No getting ready. Just doing.