By Attorney Matthew J. Parker, CELA*

Today, older adults are interested in avoiding the expense of nursing homes for the comfort and familiarity of their own space. With the cost of nursing home care skyrocketing to over $12,000 per year, people are planning to spend their remaining days at home and avoid that heavy financial burden. Aging at home or “in place,” offers the possibility of maintaining your independence. The success of that plan depends on your individual situation and how early you can start planning.

The Importance of Early Planning

The key to successfully aging in place lies in early preparation. Before the need for extensive care arises, look at your home and consider the types of modifications you may need to make to accommodate your adjusted lifestyle. Those changes may be physical, such as installing handrails on the stairs or in a bathroom. Others may be technological like updated security and safety tools. Lastly, you need to explore how friends, family, and neighbors may be able to assist you with your plan.

Some Questions to Ask

  • How will you manage your home if you start to struggle with mobility or balance? Do you need to install handrails or something more drastic like a stairlift?
  • In your current routine do you rely on a car to accomplish your daily chores? How will you compensate if driving becomes a challenge? Are there services you can use to assist you in getting around?
  • If you need help grocery shopping, cleaning, or doing yard work, do you have a support system of people you can ask to help? If not, can you pay for services that will deliver your groceries or perform other household tasks?
  • Are you medically capable of remaining at home? If you need significant medication assistance, staying at home may not be the right option.

Support Systems for Aging at Home

Aging in place often involves a blend of informal and formal caregiving support. While family members, friends, and neighbors can provide invaluable assistance, professional caregivers and community services offer structured support for a range of needs, including:

  • Personal Care: Assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and mobility.
  • Household Maintenance: Help with chores like cleaning, yard work, and shopping.
  • Meal Preparation: Assistance with grocery shopping and cooking to ensure nutritious meal consumption.
  • Healthcare Management: Support with medication administration, wound care, and physical therapy.
  • Transportation Services: Help with getting around for appointments and errands.
  • Safety Measures: Implementing home safety modifications and emergency plans to prevent accidents.

Embracing the Future

Aging in place is not just about staying in your home—it is about making your home fit for your future. It requires thoughtful planning, open communication, and a supportive network. And keep in mind, what worked for you 10 years ago may not be the best fit for you now. Do not be afraid to reevaluate your circumstances as time goes on.

For those looking to secure their independence and age with dignity in their cherished homes, now is the time to start planning. Change your home, not your address, and embrace the possibilities of aging in place with confidence and peace of mind.

Matthew J. Parker, Esq. is an attorney at the law firm of Marshall, Parker & Weber, LLC with offices in Williamsport, Jersey Shore and Plains. For more information visit or call 1-800-401-4552.

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