Aging in Place and Independence
Aging in place is a term used to describe a person's ability to live in their residence of choice for as long as they are able and for as long as it is safe. Aging in place is about maintaining quality of life, but to do that planning is necessary. To help you or your loved one age in place successfully, you will need to think about and make decisions regarding home safety to reduce falls, changes in mobility and transportation needs, and accessing financial advice and advance care planning services should those become necessary.
Driving is an important part of retaining independence. Michigan's Senior Mobility Work Group in conjunction with Michigan Department of Transportation published a guide for Michigan's Aging drivers with information on keeping safe while on the road, a driving skill self-evaluation, and how and when to decide to retire from driving. You can read it here.
The Michigan Secretary of State provides a list of agencies who offer driver rehabilitation services. These agencies are not endorsed by the State or by Michigan Health Council, but they are worth looking into if you need help evaluating your driving abilities. You can find the list, here.
The National Institute on Aging offers information on how to age in place successfully and gives advice on personal care, meals, household chores, and making adjustments to the home to make it safe for people with limited mobility. Read the article "Aging in Place: Growing Old at Home", here.
More information from the National Institute on Aging can be found on their website. www.nia.nih.gov
Area Agencies on Aging were mandated by federal law in 1974 to help older Americans age with dignity and independence. There are 16 AAAs in Michigan in every region of the state. Some of the services offered include caregiver training, Options Counseling, care coordination, the MI Choice Medicaid Waiver program, A Matter of Balance, and PATH among other wellness and healthy aging initiatives. Find your county's AAA, here.
AuntBertha is a search engine helpful to identifying community resources by zip code. Resources are sorted into groups such as food, housing, goods, transit, health, money, care, education, work, and legal aid. Search for resources near you, here.
Senior Centers in Michigan offers a search tool for finding member senior centers throughout the state. You can locate a member senior center near you, here.
Family Caregiving Series: What to do if Someone Falls – AARP
Family Caregiving Series: Getting from a Car to a Wheelchair – AARP
Family Caregiving Series: Using a Walker or Cane and Navigating Stairs – AARP
Family Caregiving Series: Moving from a Walker to Shower or Bed - AARP
Family Caregiver’s Guide to Managing Medications – Organizing and Administering Pills – AARP
Family Caregiver’s Guide to Managing Medication: Giving Injections – AARP
National Institute on Aging “Adult Day Care”
How to Talk to Your Doctor – AARP