by Erin Guidry
As the Baby Boomer generation enters its golden years, patterns of retirement living are shifting. More than 90% of aging adults say they prefer to stay in their homes long term.
Helping an aging parent, family member, or loved one create a care plan and manage the day-to-day can put strain on an entire family. This holds even more true when the loved one wants to stay in their own home.
There are complicating the effective planning of aging in place. Addressing these factors directly with everyone involved in retirement living decisions is the foundation of a successful aging in place roadmap. Below are three of the biggest hurdles families face:
Arranging elder care services can be cost-prohibitive for many people. Retirees often live on fixed incomes, necessitating careful budgeting. Coordinating multiple services such as lawn care, food delivery, transportation, house cleaning, plumbing, heating/cooling, and more, can add up quickly.
Many seniors rely on their adult children to help cover the costs of their care as they age in place. But a great deal of the younger generation is saddled with student loan debt and may not have reached their maximal earning potential. Add in the complication that many adult children of aging parents are raising their own families—with all the financial and time demands that entails—and you have a perfect storm.
Another barrier to coordinating services is that aging is not linear. Accidents happen and illnesses develop. Your loved one may need minimal services at the beginning of one year and by the summer of that year they may be in need of significantly more assistance.
The same is true with home maintenance and expenses. Preventative maintenance can often help avoid a major issue, or at the very least help you plan further in advance for residential expenditures.
If you are locked into contracts with multiple service providers, it can be difficult to rework the terms of your agreements when the situation changes. Many caregivers are also geographically removed from their aging loved one, so it can be a challenge to know whether quality service was provided, to reschedule appointments, and to handle no-shows. There is simply a lack of flexibility baked into the situation.
On the whole, we are a society of over-scheduled people. Free time is a precious resource and finding the time to do the meticulous work of comparing and coordinating services can be a massive barrier to helping your loved one effectively age in their home.
Carving out the time to do proper research and vetting for every service provider your loved one needs can feel like scaling a mountain. This is especially true for those not living in the same location as their aging loved one. It can be hard to figure out where to even start when there isn’t one simple point of access.
At Dorvie, we are building a platform to address these challenges and bring peace of mind for family members of older adults who want to stay in their homes as they . If you are interested in learning more, sign up for our mailing list.
We will share valuable resources about helping someone you love age in place along with keeping you posted on our pilot program and how you can bring Dorvie to your region.
Helping a loved one get ready to age in place is challenging though ultimately incredibly rewarding. Giving someone you love the gift of autonomy and independence in their golden years is truly priceless.