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Aging in place. A nice thought, but is it a myth?

I once thought it was a myth, but my thoughts have evolved recently. Don’t get me wrong its not easy, and for some its not practical. Bottom line, its about preparation.

Preparing for living in a Boston condominium as a senior requires a sound strategy, whether you’re planning to stay in your home for the long haul or have parents and grandparents aiming to do so. I recently discovered a helpful resource that will make getting started on this adventure much easier and more organized.

AARP and Lowe’s have partnered to create Lowe’s Livable Home, a resource guide that lays out the steps seniors can take to outfit their Boston homes so they can live comfortably as they age. The Livable Hub site features articles and videos about home improvement projects such as adding grab bars in the tub, swapping out door knobs for handles, improving lighting, anchoring furniture, and installing ramps and stair lifts.

Lowe’s offers special financing options, and can connect you with independent installers in select markets. You can also schedule a virtual home assessment with aging-in-place specialists that can help identify which projects will be worth doing.

I’m a huge fan of helping seniors stay in their homes for as long as they can. The Lowe’s and AARP partnership is a great way to make this happen.

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I used to believe that people could age in place if they planned ahead and found the right kind of housing. I now know that aging in place is a myth except for those who drop dead or who die suddenly.

I know this elderly couple that had a successful business in Arlington, MA. They did everything right by any financial advisor. But then Alzheimer’s struck one of them, and living in the same house, suddenly changed.

It is very hard to plan ahead when it comes to aging and housing. No one seems to know how long they will live or what kind of health care they will need during the last decade of their life. Most people do not die suddenly and can require a lot of care in the last years of their lives.

People who like to plan ahead and who have planned ahead may be surprised to find that conditions like Alzheimer’s disease require a lot of care and usually result in the need for special housing and around the clock care. Will you develop Alzheimer’s? If you do develop it how old will you be when it is diagnosed and how long will you live with it?

We can age in place for many years if we are in good health but most people in their 80’s are one hip fracture away from a nursing home or assisted living which to many seniors is the same as a nursing home in that it seems more like an institution than a home.

Moving from a large home that has stairs into a smaller Boston condo with no stairs certainly makes sense and is one way to age in place at least until more care is needed, as is living someplace where shopping is close and there is public transit. Most people outlive the ability to

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