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Friday, June 10, 2011

Aging in Place & the Crucial Conversation

"Aging in Place" refers to the ability to age in one's own home but also may include aging in any place a person may call "home" with the goal of not having to keep moving, or move to a less desirable place to live. Sometimes a person's home may be a foster home or assisted living facility. These types of residences can offer a nice alternative to staying in a residential single-family home, which brings with it home maintenance, seasonal duties such as yard work or snow removal, and often mutiple stairs or narrow entries to frequently used rooms in the home. Less desirable places to live typically include nursing homes, where care is delivered to those with complex needs, at considerably higher costs. While discussing long-term care planning, it is crucial to identify the goals of the aging person as it relates to their ideal "aging in place." The next steps would be to consider accessibility, potential caregivers & service providers, and financial considerations. This crucial conversation can help all those involved have a clearer understanding of what is needed before it becomes a stressful, crisis-driven event.

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