Aging in Place consult

“We build your world so you have maximum independence for your good days while still getting optimal support for your worst days.”
—Crystal Littlejohn, MHSA, CMC, CSA; founder, Geriatric Resources

Home is where the heart is. It’s where we feel most comfortable. And according to AARP, it’s where most Americans wish to stay as they age. Whether you are an older adult planning for your later years and preparing a budget for aging in place, or an adult child caring for elderly parents, we can help with expert advice and financial estimates based on serving the Phoenix area since 2009.

At Geriatric Resources, LLC, our goal is to help you stay home for as long as possible while preserving your resources. It’s not inexpensive to stay at home. But our understanding of technology and local support programs can help you keep costs to a minimum.

To learn more, give us a call at 623-776-3098.
Or schedule a free initial consultation.

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Physical environment

As we age, the home environment needs to be simplified to remove hazards while supporting independence. Some of the environmental issues we address during an Aging in Place consult include the following:

  • Preventing falls. From grab bars in the bathroom to improved lighting in halls, we make a thorough list of small modifications that can greatly increase the safety of the home. On a larger scale, you ideally want to have bathing, living, and sleeping all on a single floor. Depending on your home layout, that may require a more significant remodel. We can recommend local contractors who understand the requirements for aging in place.
  • Crime prevention. We look at the exterior of the home and make recommendations about landscaping, lighting, and smart home technology that can reduce the incidence of theft or burglary. We can also suggest technologies that help you keep track of unwanted visitors who may be exploiting your loved one.
  • Home and yard maintenance. As we age, it gets harder and harder to do those basic gardening and home upkeep chores. Ladders are no longer safe because a fall could mean a broken bone or even a concussion and brain bleed. Besides, limited time and energy is better spent on addressing medical issues and doing those activities that bring joy. Not to mention, the home isn’t getting any younger. Each passing year brings on a greater chance of breakdown and replacement issues. We can recommend local contractors who are sensitive to the needs of older adults and have demonstrated high integrity in their workmanship and pricing.
  • Pet care. Pets are members of the family. They too need to be factored into the household picture for aging in place—especially as health challenges or dementia make “pet parenting” more difficult. Who will walk them? Feed them? Take them to the vet?
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Transportation issues

How is the home situated for public transportation? Uber or Lyft? Local volunteer driver programs? No one wants to think about driving retirement. But the American Automobile Association reports that we tend to outlive our ability to drive by seven to ten years. What needs to be done so you can get around to the places you enjoy and need to get to when that time comes? No need to be artificially housebound for lack of a ride.

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Daily tasks

From meal preparation to medication management, bathing to bill paying, we look at the support systems that will need to be in place to ensure that the tasks of daily living can be accomplished reliably. This might mean technology solutions, such as an automated pill dispenser. A bill-paying service might be in order if finances are not being attended to. As for food, your loved one may be eligible for Meals on Wheels. Or private meal delivery service may be the better option. Depending on other needs, it might be best to have in-home caregivers to help with meals, shopping, bathing, or dressing. We can recommend options and give you a general sense of the price if you are just in planning and estimating mode. This way you can compare the price of aging in place with that of long-term care settings.

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Social isolation

Loneliness is a huge issue for older adults, affecting both mental health and physical health and well-being. It’s one of the major drawbacks of aging in place. Friends move, have health challenges—even die—and the community gets smaller. Add to this the challenges of driving and transportation, and isolation looms large unless there is a concerted effort to stay connected.

During an Aging in Place consult, we will address solutions to loneliness and isolation. While face-to-face, in-person contact is optimal, video conferencing has been shown to significantly improve loneliness and depression. We can recommend several technologies to increase connections with family and friends. From hooking up Wi-Fi, to getting a tablet with Zoom preinstalled, we make sure that social connections are given the health priority they deserve.

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In the case of dementia

If you are concerned about a loved one with Alzheimer’s, Lewy body dementia, vascular dementia, or even just mild cognitive impairment (MCI), we will start with an assessment and plan to get a thorough picture of your relative’s strengths and those areas where they likely need more support—now or in the near future.

We will look at technology as a cost-effective way to ensure safety while aging in place (e.g., a stove guard to turn off a burner that is left unattended, automatic pill dispensers for medication management, sensors to monitor nighttime restlessness). Our Thoughtful Engagement™ program provides enrichment activities to improve socialization and quality of life.

We will also assess the well-being of a caregiving spouse or relative who is living in the house with your loved one. They are at very high risk for depression and isolation themselves. It may be that in-home caregivers are advisable, if only part time, to provide adequate supervision and give a spouse some much-needed respite. We can recommend the best home care in the Phoenix area.

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