Two major issues to consider in creating your own long-term care plan are where you will live and how you will pay for the care you are likely to need.

Most seniors want to live in their own homes “until their toenails turn blue,” as Dr. McClanahan puts it.

No matter how appealing this is, it may not be realistic. Here are some important items she says to consider that can make your home old-age friendly:

  1. Close proximity and access to needed services like grocery stores, restaurants, and medical facilities
  2. Available interaction with others
  3. A plan for home maintenance
  4. Accessibility for wheelchairs and walkers
  5. Minimal stairs, level surfaces, and the ability to accommodate ramps inside and out
  6. Non-skid floors, baths, and showers
  7. Grab bars and easy to reach utilities
  8. Cameras at floor levels (the least intrusive) to monitor your activity
  9. Whether the home can be dementia proofed
  10. Whether in-home medical and support services are available, you are willing to use them, and you can afford them.

Even with a goal of staying in your home, your plan should specify how to determine if it’s time for you to move into a long-term care facility: perhaps when friends or family feel it’s a safety issue, you can no longer perform certain functions, or transportation becomes an issue.

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