Many people try to age in place as long as possible rather than go into an assisted living situation or a nursing home. Here are some tactics for those—possibly your parents, possibly yourself, depending on your age—with such a choice on the foreseeable horizon:
* Put money aside. Seniors who can dress and bathe themselves may need to hire someone to help with cooking, making appointments, paying bills, managing medications, etc. If saving is difficult, a reverse mortgage can provide the needed cash.
* Don’t be in a rush to go into assisted living. Moving to an assisted living facility is usually a temporary tactic. The average length of stay is two years, after which residents often go into a nursing home. You may be able to cut out that intermediate step.
* Be careful at home. An “elder-friendly” home (second railings on the stairs, grab bars by the tub, etc.) will enable seniors to stay there longer, rather than go into an institution.
* Designate an advocate. Frail elders need someone to provide support in dealing with home care workers, government agencies, etc. This should be a loved one who lives nearby.