Aging in Place: What to Know and Where to Find Help
Home is a beautiful representation of comfort, meaning, and love no matter at what age you find yourself. In fact, according to a recent report from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), eight out of 10 seniors say they want to stay in their own home as they age—even if they need day-to-day assistance or ongoing healthcare during retirement. This trend has given way to what is now known as the “aging in place” movement—defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as "the ability to live in one's own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level."
Why Age in Place?
For many seniors it comes down to the importance and comfort of “home.” The beauty of home is that it means something different to everyone. Maybe it’s the place that hosted a lifetime of memories for you, or a new place to start fresh and embark on the next chapter of your life. For others, home means independence, comfort, or dignity. No matter what home means to you, one thing holds true—we all have a space and place where we feel at ease and secure and that’s something to hold close.
If you or a loved one is considering aging in place, the good news is there are a number of resources available to help you stay happy and healthy without having to make drastic changes to your independent lifestyle.
Take Advantage of Local Support Networks
As a community with a growing population of seniors, it’s important to remember that we’re all in this together. The Greater Lewes Community Village knows that “it takes a village” which is why they’re dedicated to helping older adults live independently at home for as long as possible.
The Village is a volunteer, non-profit organization that provides support, services, and programs that enhance the lives of members by helping them remain engaged in a variety of social, educational, and cultural activities. The Village’s “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” program also enlists volunteers from the community to support seniors in a variety of ways, from taking on light home maintenance and chores to making friendly visits and phone call check-ins—even helping with electronic devices!
Consider In-Home Care
Help around the house is always welcome, but as you get older you may find that seemingly mundane daily tasks such as bathing, eating, dressing, and using the toilet have become more difficult. Custodial care is a non-medical assistance solution for individuals who are unable to perform daily tasks and activities without help.
Custodial care is different from skilled in-home care in that custodial care providers do not offer in-home medical services. Instead, their purpose is simply to help you with daily living tasks you may find to be more difficult as you age.
If you or a loved one are dealing with chronic medical conditions that require frequent attention and care, but you are unable to travel, home care services may be a beneficial option to consider in addition to custodial care. Beebe Healthcare’s Home Care Services provides comprehensive, skilled nursing and physical rehabilitation services, and works with you and your doctor to develop and manage your individual plan of care.
Find Help Getting Around Town
In Sussex County, where doctors’ offices, supermarkets, and retail outlets are sprawled out across many miles, transportation presents the biggest challenge for seniors who no longer drive or who want to avoid heavy seasonal traffic or driving at night. Fortunately, a new service has been created to help seniors get from “Point A” to “Point B” safely and securely.
The Independent Transportation Network Delaware, or iTN for short, provides community-based and consumer-oriented transportation service for seniors and adults with visual impairment. Members pay a membership fee each year and are charged a pick-up and per mile fee for each trip. Ride costs are deducted from the member’s pre-paid personal transportation account, so no money changes hands between rider and driver—making the ride experience more like riding with a friend or calling an Uber than taking a taxi.