Is there an optimal time to get started?
What needs to happen before we can start aging in place? Is there a formal decision that needs to be made? Is there a waiting period? Are there a series of steps to be completed? Do we need to find a different home than what we have and then move into it? Do we need to make significant changes to our current home in order to remain in it? Do we have to allocate a large budget to take care of the issues that we have noted that if left unaddressed we feel will hinder our long-term use and enjoyment of our home? Do we have to wait until we are older or until we start noticing some physical changes in ourselves?
The answer to these questions is that no conscious or obvious decision needs to be made, there is no waiting period before we start, we can start where we are at our present age, and our current home will work just fine.
In short, anyone is ready to begin just as they are.
Today is a great day to begin
Regardless of what someone might have been told, what they may have read someplace, or what they have come to believe for whatever reason, no one needs to prepare anything or wait to begin aging in place. In fact, we already have been doing this all of our lives. It’s just that we maybe haven’t thought of it in those terms or put a label on what we have been doing.
Therefore, today is a great day to get started on this wonderful journey of getting older and aging well in our homes.
Aging in place does not have to be a formal decision. Maybe people have been doing it for years without ever acknowledging it. Aging in place simply is remaining in one’s home over time. There can be an acknowledgment of our intent or a decision that we make and then share with friends and family members, but none of this is required or needed.
While a conscious decision about aging in place is not required, if we do decide to make a formal declarative one, any of the changes we make in our homes to create a better living space can be done with that in mind instead of just doing things without a particular purpose other than we like them or think they are attractive.
Our current homes are just fine
Where we are living at this moment – and the same holds true for our relatives, friends, and others that we know – might not be the place we thought we would remain long-term when we moved into it, and we might not be done with changing residences before coming to that home where we intend to be. However, where we are right now is where we are aging in place because the clock is running while we are living at our current place of residence.
We may have started out on our life’s journey years ago with the idea that we would live in a certain type of home that was consistent with our family composition – just ourselves, a spouse and children, or aging parents living with us. We had an idea of what type of work we might be pursuing and where that work would take us geographically. That may have come to pass as we planned it, or it may have been interrupted or redirected along the way.
Our long-term home may match our vision of what we thought it would be when we began years ago, or we may have found something that we weren’t even looking for as a long-term solution that we like that works for us.
Regardless of any other plans that we might have about moving or our present home not being the long-term choice for us, we are right now where are supposed to be. We are aging in place where we are in our current living environment and situation and at our present age and family situation – whether that was our intent or not when we found this home.