It's not for everyone, but as more and more older Americans choose to age in place and remain in their homes, issues related to maintaining mobility, promoting home safety and creating an environment to meet care needs are becoming increasingly important to both caregivers and care recipients.
To address these issues, many people will embark on plans to modify their homes, employ assistive technology and identify family and community resources to help them age in place.
To assist individuals and their families who wish to remain in their homes as they age, the MetLife Mature Market Institute has introduced “The MetLife Aging in Place Workbook: Your Home As a Care Setting,” a step-by-step guide to help assess care needs, determine whether home modification and/or assistive devices are needed, identify potential care resources and understand the associated costs. It also provides a listing of organizations and government agencies that may serve as additional resources.
The workbook is a companion piece to “The MetLife Report on Aging in Place 2.0: Rethinking Solutions to the Home Care Challenge” released earlier. That report estimates that substantial, but basic, design and structural modifications can cost $9,000–$12,000 or more per one-story residence, depending on the type of home and its locality. The guide features cost approximations for common modifications, which vary in different parts of the country. For instance, it estimates that ramps can cost between $1,600 and $3,200 for a length of 16 feet. Two grab bars are generally $250 including installation. A typical stair glide can cost up to $12,000. And, it can cost from $800 to $1,200 to adjust a door opening.
“The MetLife Aging in Place Workbook” provides individuals with a model to assess whether their home can serve as a care setting. It poses a series of questions whose answers will help families decide if changes to the home are required to meet care needs. The guide addresses the need for equipment like walkers, shower seats, grab rails, medication reminder systems and Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS). It also focuses on developing a care plan that includes family caregivers as well as paid care services based on identified needs. It looks at costs in each of these important areas and identifies potential funding sources.
Among the resources listed in the guide are the following:
- Eldercare Locator
1-800-677-1116 (9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET)
- Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA)
1-800-445-8106 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT)
- National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
Source: The MetLife Mature Market Institute®