If you intend to remain in your home for as long as possible, you should take the following precautions: Consider your health, the security of your home, and the available community resources. The following questions will aid you in your deliberation. If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you should consult a physician. Share your answers with your family and consider contacting an "aging-in-place" specialist who may be able to assist you in determining if remaining in your home is a safe option.
QUESTIONS TO ASK
- Do you have any physical health conditions, such as arthritis, that could limit your mobility?
- Have you ever been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia?
- Your home may be difficult to navigate safely if it has stairs, doorways that are too narrow, or dimly lit areas.
- Would the cost of home modifications exceed your budget?
- Do you live alone?
- Do your children or other members of your family reside more than 30 miles away?
- Do you live more than a safe distance away from parks and other places to have fun?
- Are you responsible for all aspects of home maintenance, including gardening and snow removal?
- Have you stopped driving?
Check out Aging in Place, a Harvard Medical School Special Health Report, for more information on how to maintain your health, independence, and safety as you age.
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