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Learn how Forevermore Homes can help you plan to age in place before your need is urgent.

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Published by kmoniello, 2022-03-24 08:40:20

Plan to Age in Place

Learn how Forevermore Homes can help you plan to age in place before your need is urgent.

Keywords: age in place,senior housing,Aging in place,assisted living,nursing home,home health care,grab bars,aging,wheelchair ramp,handicap

Plan to Age
in Place

Table of

1. Introduction
2. What is Aging in Place?
3. Obstacles to Aging in Place
4. Two Success Stories
5. Key Features of an Age in Place Ready Home
6. Modify or MoveTM Decision
7. Forevermore Homes Team
8. Forevermore Homes Planning Process
9. Benefits of Aging in Place
10. Contact for More Information


The team at Forevermore Homes works with clients to create an Age in Place
ready home where they can live safely, comfortably, and happily as they age.

Do you have a plan to Age in Place? Not many people do. It’s only natural
that we don’t like to think about growing older and experiencing the declining
mobility that comes along with aging. But it is inevitable for all of us.

Almost everyone we speak to has a story about a loved one who is no longer
able to function safely in their home.
Performing activities of daily
living, like climbing stairs or
getting into a bathtub, become
challenging and even

Families don’t know where to
turn and become overwhelmed.
Forevermore Homes can help
you plan in advance - before
your need is urgent.

Although there are many smaller details to think about in creating an Age in
Place ready home, by focusing on these five key components you’ll be well
on your way:
1. One-level living
2. Wide doorways and hallways
3. Curb-less shower and grab bars
4. Private space for an in-home caregiver
5. Vibrant neighborhood close to support system

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We’ll help you get as close to the ideal as possible given your financial and
emotional considerations. For some the right solution is to stay in their current
home and make modifications. For others, it is better to move to a home
already more Age in Place ready.
We’ll guide you through a comprehensive assessment and decision-making
process to evaluate all the financial and emotional considerations for Aging in
Place. At the end of that process, you will have all the pertinent information in
an easy to digest format, empowering you to make the best decision for
yourself and your family.

The decision can involve the sale of your current home, purchase of a
new home, home improvement projects, or some combination. We then
handle the execution through to completion.
Your dedicated Certified Aging in Place Specialist is your single point of
contact, relieving you of as much stress and worry as possible.

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What is Aging in Place?

Aging in Place is defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, the CDC, as "the ability to live in one's own home and
community safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age,
income or ability level.
A 2011 AARP article defines Aging in Place as “remaining living in the
community, with some level of independence, rather than in residential care.”
We prefer the AARP definition because it is very explicit – the ultimate goal is
to prevent institutional living. If you are like the majority of people surveyed
by AARP, you too would prefer to stay in your own home rather than move
into a nursing facility.
That goal is only attainable when you can continue to safely function at home
as your physical abilities decline with age, illness, or injury.

Obstacles to Aging in Place

Unfortunately, there are many obstacles that stand in the way of Aging in
Place at home, which we’ll group into three categories:
1. Safety Concerns
2. Isolation
3. Lack of Support for

Activities of Daily Living

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1 · Safety

Safety is a major concern for Aging in Place, with falls at the top of the list.
Falls are serious and costly. Here are some eye-opening statistics cited
by the CDC:

 One out of five falls causes a significant injury, such as a broken
bone or concussion.

 Each year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency
departments for fall injuries.

 Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized.
 The medical costs for falls totaled more than $50 billion dollars

in one year alone.

Caregivers can also be seriously injured while attempting to prevent a fall
or helping the person up after the fall.

Several factors contribute to greater risk of falling as we age - including
a decline in physical fitness and balance, impaired vision, and medications
to name a few.

There are many trip and fall
hazards in the home, such as:
 Stepping into a bathtub,
 Slippery flooring,
 Throw rugs,
 Electrical cords,
 Using a stepstool,
 And the perhaps the biggest

hazard of all – stairs!

Other safety concerns include
burns while cooking, falling ill
and not being able to call for
help, and scammers who prey on
the elderly.

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2 · Isolation

Aging in Place is not just about physical safety within the home. We also need
to think about the mental well-being of the individual.
Everyone needs social connections to
survive and thrive.
But as people age, they often find
themselves spending more time alone.
Studies show that social isolation is
associated with higher risks for health
problems such as:
 heart disease,
 depression, and
 cognitive decline.

3 · Support for Activities of Daily Living

There are many activities we perform as we go about our day, and through
most of our adult lives we take it for granted without giving it a second
thought. But these same activities can become challenging and even
dangerous as we age.
Healthcare professionals put daily activities into two groups:
 Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) and
 Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

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Instrumental Activities
of Daily Living (IADLs)

Taking Medication Paying Bills Driving
Running Errands Using the Telephone Cooking
Cleaning the House Shopping
Doing Laundry

Bathing Oral Hygiene Activities of Daily
Dressing Toileting Living (ADLs)
Grooming Walking
Standing from a Chair
Getting out of Bed
Climbing Stairs

There will likely come a point when you too will need help with daily activities.
This can increase over time from just occasional assistance from family
members, to needing round-the-clock care from a home care provider.

Having the support of family members is a big factor in one’s ability to Age in
Place. But often family members live just too far away to get there quickly
when needed, and a long drive can add to caregiver burnout.

The good news is that by planning to Age in Place, we can remove these
obstacles and the many challenges and risks they present. By planning to Age
in Place you will be set up for success before the need is urgent.

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Who is Planning to
Age in Place

It’s not just the elderly or disabled who are planning to Age in Place. Empty
nesters looking to downsize are hoping that their next home is their forever
home. Adult children may be worried about an aging parent who has fallen
a couple of times at home.
Planning to Age in Place can seem a bit overwhelming at first. But it truly is
attainable with guidance from a trusted resource.

Two Success Stories

Here are two success stories that illustrate the possibilities.
Nancy and George, who
choose to stay and make
modifications to their
current home.

And Donna, who decided
to move to a home already
more Age in Place friendly.

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Nancy & George

Nancy and George have lived in
their single-story ranch for 45

They have a close-knit group of
neighbors who watch out for
each other. They’re very active
with the senior center in town -
playing cards and socializing a
few times a week.

George was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease four years ago. He is doing
very well right now, but he and Nancy decided to follow the old adage -
plan for the worst and hope for the best.

There is a possibility that George will need a wheelchair at some point, so a
curb less shower was a top priority for them. Nancy also hoped to bring the
laundry upstairs from the basement. After looking at different options for
expanding the bathroom within the footprint of their current home, they
decided instead to put on an addition.

Their Financial Professional
advised them that spending
some of their savings on the
addition was a prudent use of
their funds.

Their Realtor® assured them it
would add to resale value down
the road.

The addition gave them the space they
needed for a master bath with a large
curb less shower, and spacious closets in
the two adjacent bedrooms.

And now no more trips to the basement
to do laundry, which makes Nancy very

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Donna and Jim raised their three
children in a 4-bedroom colonial
on a large piece of land on a
country road. When Jim passed,
Donna knew she couldn’t manage
the property by herself, nor did she
need such a large home. She felt
isolated, and actually a bit fearful,
being out in the country alone. She
knew she had to make a change.
She sold the two-story colonial and purchased a smaller one-story ranch in
need of updating. She opened up the floor plan, widened the doorways,
and installed a large curb-less shower in the master bedroom.

Donna expanded the existing garage and decided to build out a 1-bedroom
suite in the space above. The home sits on a flat lot across the street from
an elementary school and is 5 minutes from the highway and center of
town. Two of her three children live within 15 minutes.

Rendering of Donna’s
Remodeled Home

Donna had wanted to create a home she’d never have to leave, and that’s
exactly what she did. She plans to use the space above the garage for an in-
home caregiver if and when that time comes.
She feels safer having neighbors within ear shot and watching the children at
school makes her smile and feel connected to her community.

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Key Features of an Age
in Place Ready Home

Through these stories we have illustrated the 5 key components of an Age in
Place ready home:

1. One Level Living. The home will be one level or have a bedroom and full
bath on the main floor. It only makes sense that the fewer trips upstairs, the
lower the risk of falling on them. The simplest way to reduce trips upstairs is
by having everything we need on one level.

2. Wide Doorways and Hallways. 36” is ideal. While we hope we never have
to use a wheelchair to get around, by creating a clear path you’ll be ready
should the need arise.

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3. A curb-less shower and properly placed grab bars. Climbing into a bathtub
can be a hazard at any age. Even a threshold to a shower can be a tripping
hazard. A curb-less shower has no threshold at all. A person can easily roll into
the shower using a walker or wheelchair.

Safety grab bars can be both
functional and beautiful. They can
even be disguised as towel racks
or toilet paper holders. Most
importantly, with proper
placement and installation, they
will help prevent falls in the

4. Private sleeping area for an in-home care giver.
Let’s revisit the AARP description of Aging in Place:

“remaining living in the community, with some level of independence, rather
than in residential care”.

People move to nursing homes
when they need more care than
their family can provide. But you
can get round the clock care right in
your own home with a full-time
caregiver, rather than move into a
nursing facility.

With full-time, live-in care, your
home is not just a workplace for the
caregiver - it becomes their place of
residence as well.

By offering a comfortable, private suite - a bedroom, bathroom, sitting room,
and maybe even a kitchenette - you’ll be providing a competitive benefit
that will help you attract and retain a quality caregiver.

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5. Location.
Ideally the home will be in a community-oriented neighborhood close to your
support system and healthcare providers.
The sights and sounds of a vibrant neighborhood will help ward off loneliness
and isolation. A shorter drive time will lessen the load for your family and
prevent caregiver burnout.
Of course, there are many other smaller details to consider in planning your
Age in Place friendly home, but by focusing on these five fundamentals you’ll
be well on your way.

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Modify or MoveTM Decision

Where do you begin in the pursuit of the ideal home in which to Age in Place?
Forevermore Homes helps you answer the question:

Will you be better off modifying your current home like George and
Nancy, or should you move to a home already more Age in Place friendly,
like Donna did?
A 2018 AARP survey revealed that 76% of Americans aged 50 and older prefer
to stay in their current residence as long as possible, but only 46% anticipate
that they will be able to do so. It’s difficult to think about leaving a home where
you have built memories. No doubt this is a very emotional decision.
But there are some very compelling reasons to consider a move:
 Your home is too isolated
from your neighbors,
 It’s becoming too costly to
maintain your property,
 Your family must drive a
long distance when you
need help,
 There is no space to create a
bedroom and bathroom on
the first floor.

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The reasons to think about staying and modifying are the reverse:

 Your home is in a lively
community of caring and
connected neighbors,

 Your house and property need
little ongoing maintenance,

 You’re close to your family
support system,

 You have, or there is potential to
add, a bedroom and full bath on
the main level.

At this point though there still are many questions that need to be
answered before you can make your decision, for example:

 What is my current home worth in today’s market, and how
much equity do I have?

 What other housing options are available in my desired area,
and how much do they cost?

 What renovations would be needed in my current home in
order to stay, and what will they cost?

 How will I finance my renovations or move?
 What is the long-term financial impact of each decision, and

which fits best into our overall financial plan?

The team at Forevermore Homes will provide answers to these questions,
so you will have complete confidence in your decision.

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Forevermore Homes Team

Here are the core members of your Forevermore Homes Team:

Certified Aging in
Place Specialist

Occupational Home Inspector

Interior Designer General Contractor

Real Estate Your Professional
Appraiser Advisors

We engage other professionals, such as downsizing specialists and smart home
technology experts as needed. Each team members has an important role to
play, as you’ll see as we take you through the steps in our planning process.

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Planning Process

1. Certified Aging in Place Assessment

The process begins with an in-home consultation facilitated by our Certified
Aging in Place Specialist. The purpose is to get an initial understanding of
your current situation and your objectives going forward.
Together we will explore:

 What you like about your current home and neighborhood,
 The challenges you are having or foresee having in your home,
 The members and location of your support system,
 Your goals and objectives for Aging in Place,
 The changes you would like in your current home if you were to stay,
 And your preferences in a new home should you decide to move.

Ideally, we would include members of your support system in this meeting –
family or home caregivers – to get as much input as possible. Making this a
family discussion can be quite helpful when seniors and their adult children
have differences in opinion on what should happen. Your Certified Aging in
Place Specialist can help calm emotions and bring objectivity to this
important family conversation.

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2. Home Inspection

A licensed home inspector will conduct a thorough inspection of the home
to identify general maintenance or safety issues.
If the decision is to modify, it makes sense look at the total condition of the
home so any maintenance issues like a leaky roof or failing furnace can be
addressed during renovations.
If the decision is to move, we can
remedy any maintenance issues
prior to listing your home for sale.

When the buyer does their own
inspection, it will be free of any
issues, and you will be positioned
to get top dollar for your home.

3. Occupational Therapist Assessment

If you have an illness or disability, the Occupational Therapist will visit your
home and assess your needs with a greater understanding of your medical
condition. The OT tells us how your condition may impact your functioning
in the home – now and in the future.
This input is very important as we are forming our recommendations. For
example, in the story of George and Nancy, the OT informed us that
turning can be difficult with Parkinson’s. So we designed a straight pathway
for George into the bedroom and bathroom.

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4. Design of Modifications

With the results of the Age in Place and OT assessments in hand, the
Designer will develop plans for the modifications needed to Age in Place in
the home. The Designer will create a plan in an architectural software,
enabling you to see realistic 3D visualizations of the completed project. You
can see different material choices, like tile for example, visually - which will
help you with design choices that you will enjoy for years to come.

5. Pricing for Renovation Projects

The plans then go to our General Contractor who obtains competitive
quotes from subcontractors in every specialty needed for the project. This
can include carpenters, electricians, and plumbers - and suppliers of
equipment such as ramps or chair lifts if needed.

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6. Real Estate Market Analysis

A Real Estate Appraiser will determine the market value of your home both
before and after renovations. You’ll know the current equity in your home
in case it is needed to finance renovations or put down toward a new
home. You’ll know the return on your investment on the renovations, which
is important if you want to maximize resale value. If moving is a
consideration, a Realtor® will prepare an inventory of other suitable homes
currently available in the market.
We are proud to be affiliated
with Coldwell Banker Realty,
a leading brand in residential
real estate offering
unparalleled marketing
resources. Our Realtors®
have the Senior Real Estate
Specialist (SRES) designation
giving them greater insight
into serving the needs of
During the first six steps of the process, we have gathered all the data and
information needed to make your Modify or MoveTM decision:

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7. Financial and Legal Review

The last step is to meet with your financial and legal advisors to evaluate
the options against your financial and estate planning goals. If you do not
already have relationships with these advisors, we can refer you to
professionals within our network.

Through this comprehensive process we provide clarity and certainty
where before there was confusion and indecision. At this point your
decision will be clear and you will have confidence moving forward.
Whether your decision results in a real estate transaction, home
modification, or both, we manage the project from start to successful finish
with complete transparency, accountability to you, and communication that
meets your needs.
Your Certified Age in Place Specialist is your single point of contact,
relieving you of as much burden and stress as possible.

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Benefits of Aging in Place

There are so many benefits to creating an Age in Place ready home:
For you
 With help from family, friends, and professional caregivers, you can

maintain independence by having control over your routine, activities,
and life decisions.
 Your home provides a sense of familiarity, comfort, and security.
 Aging in Place tends to improve one’s quality of life, which improves
physical health. You will also be insulated from the spread of disease
that can be rampant in a nursing home.
 Aging in Place is typically much less expensive than a nursing facility.
For your caregivers
 A private space in which to rest and recharge will help you attract and
retain a great caregiver.
 You’ll be providing a safer environment, which will reduce the risk of
an injury to your caregiver.
For the community
Healthcare and government official have identified five pillars that
represent the Social Determinants of Health.

These are conditions in the environment that affect a wide range of health,
functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes for the population in general. Aging
in Place has a positive impact on at least 3 of these 5 pillars. So, by Aging in
Place, we even contribute to the health of our society.

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Contact Us

We hope this guide has inspired you to start the Aging in Place
conversation in your own family.
If you’re thinking about Aging in Place, we’re here to help!
Contact us any time to learn more.

Kathleen Moniello, founder of Forevermore Homes,
is a Certified Age in Place Specialist (CAPS)

For a complementary initial consultation
contact Kathy at 855.530.3827
You can also email her at

[email protected]

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