I want to age at home, rather than at a nursing home. How can I do this?

In our practice, almost of our clients want to age at home, wherever and whatever that home may be. How reasonable is this and what can be done to allow this to occur? Obviously, we stress the need to have in place a plan and the documents to accompany that plan.

We focus on the basic Terrific Triad of documents: the will/trust, power of attorney and Advance Directive for Health Care as the staples of a plan.

Here are some other points to think about as you consider the option to age at home:

-  Is your home safe and able to handle your needs?
   This can include simple home additions such as grab bars, additional stair railings, bath chairs, stander poles, lift chairs and, possibly, assistive devices such as a cane or walker.
-  Does your home pose an impediment or danger in allowing the use of these tools?
-  Who will assist you with ‘mundane’ day-to-day matters such as grass cutting, snow removal, collecting your mail and newspapers, getting your medications, cleaning your  house and providing transportation?
-  Do you want to consider hiring a health care advocate such as a social worker to assist you in dealing with the complexities of today’s healthcare environment?
-  Finally, a key to a successful plan is what we call the three “E’s:” Eating, exercise and engagement. Eating for nutrition. Exercise for both the body and the mind. Engagement with others to help minimize social isolation.

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