As people age in San Mateo County and elsewhere, most would choose to live in their own homes either on their own or with a partner or spouse. This concept is called “Aging in Place,” and it’s one of the main three areas on 70 Strong website.
There are many resources on 70 Strong. You can search the directory by the topics below. Or you can call a 70 Strong Navigator at 650.780.7547 to set up a phone call or in-person meeting.
- Adapting your Home and Home Repairs
- Adult Day Care Services
- Aging Services
- Discounts/Organizations that Help Older Adults in Need
- Food Services
- Home Care and Home Health Care
- Housing Options
- Legal Resources
- Transportation Options
According to the AARP, 90 percent of adults over the age of 65 want to continue to live in their own home and community for as long as possible. Aging in place provides a host of benefits for seniors, families and communities.
“Aging in place gives you more control over how you want your life to work not just for every day but also for major events, such as transitions or illness, while still maintaining your quality of life,” says Pamela Kurtzman, CEO of the Sequoia Healthcare District, which funds and supports community-based health and wellness initiatives, including 70 Strong, in southern and central San Mateo County.
The Sequoia Healthcare District also has helped support the launch of Villages of San Mateo County, a non-profit membership program that describes itself as “neighbors helping neighbors” and facilitates aging in place for local seniors.
Photos are of Village members and Executive Director Linda Burroughs, second from left, top photo.
Planning Your Future
To successfully age in place, you will need to ensure that you can move around your home without incident, travel safely, maintain your home, care for your health, and socialize with friends and family.
Kurtzman explains that, “When it comes to aging in place, there is no one-size formula. Instead, you have many options when it comes to planning and protecting your future.”
One option is Villages of San Mateo County, part of the nationwide Village to Village Network. People pay an annual membership fee to access such services as:
- Home safety evaluation
- Minor home repairs
- Access to discounted and vetted providers
The Villages of San Mateo County serve two main areas: Sequoia Village is for residents of Belmont, San Carlos and Redwood City, including Redwood Shores. Mid Peninsula Village serves residents of Burlingame, San Mateo and Hillsborough. Separately, there’s Foster City Village, the first Village in San Mateo County. There’s also Village of the Coastside for people living in Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach and Montara. Each Village has an annual fee; there are limited scholarships available based on household income.
Deciding Where to Live
One of the biggest decisions to make is where you will live. While it’s natural to want to stay in your home, not every home is built with aging in mind. You may need to make some basic adjustments or renovations to your home to make it safer and more usable as you age. You may also wish to incorporate assistive devices to help preserve your mobility or make modifications to your home so that you can get around easily regardless of your ability level.
If you have a spare room and seek companionship, investigate HIP Housing. This long-established free service matches home seekers with homeowners who have extra rooms. Home seekers pay rent, which is sometimes reduced in exchange for simple chores.
Thinking About Health Care and Financial Needs
While thinking about aging in place, you’ll also need to decide about how you want to handle your health care needs and your financial responsibilities. Good health translates to a higher quality of life, which means that you will need to take steps to protect your access to health care services. The Villages’ services can provide transport services, coordinate home visits and ensure you have access to the medical devices you need.
Creating an Action Plan
Planning is power. Creating an action plan for aging means that you have outlined all your wishes, making it easy for healthcare providers, family members and others to know exactly what you want and how you want it. When designing your plan, focus on not just how you want to live but how to make that happen. What do you need to do to ensure your quality of life, your comfort, your health and your dignity in an environment that’s right for you?
By creating your plan before you need it, you’ll be more likely to stay in your home as long as possible without compromising your well-being or your independence.
Preserving What Matters
Aging in place is a choice that enables you to have more control over where and how you spend your retirement years. While it might not be the right choice for everyone, it is a valid, viable option for many who wish to preserve their quality of life.
Creating a plan for your future will ultimately help you preserve what matters while reducing the stress on both you and your family.
Check the 70 Strong directory for resources. Also, feel free to call our Community Navigators who can answer your questions and meet with you one-on-one: 650.780.7547.