Choosing an Aging-in-Place Community

This is the second story in a series we are writing about aging in place and the things you should consider if you are looking to age in place. As a Certified Aging In Place Specialist (CAPS), Fazzolari Custom Homes and Renovations is committed to helping homeowners like you navigate the issues and choices in building and remodeling a home to live in for the rest of your life.

For some people, the lack of government or agency-available elderly housing will force them to age in place in less than ideal communities and circumstances. But if you are fortunate enough to have a choice about where you live in your older years, take a look at the community and ask yourself this: Would I WANT to live and age here? Or, would I want my parents to live and age here?

Now take a look around and consider what it would be like to be 80 years old and living in the community.

Family and Friends

I think choosing an area where you have a network of friends and relatives is among the most important factors when you are thinking about aging in place. As you age it’s almost inevitable that you will need to rely on those around you to help you through challenges. Your network will keep you interested in your community and give you available support when you need it.

Transportation

Is the community you are considering safe for walking and biking? Is there available and nearby public transportation? (On average, women live an extra 10 years between the time they stop driving and pass away; for men it’s six years.)

Shopping and Services

Are there neighborhood shops, restaurants, cleaners, and other services available, things you will be able to walk to or drive to easily? It seems like a small thing, but if you’re forced to walk or ride to the store, a close one can make a big difference in your life.

Activities

Many communities have parks, which are great. But here in the Pacific Northwest, parks don’t always look so appealing in the wind, cold, and rain. So look for communities that have other activities available, such as fitness centers, computer labs, hobby centers, libraries, events, and arts programs. Choices in the Vancouver, WA area include the Firstenburg Community Center and the Marshall Community Center. These will get you out of the house and mingling with others in your area.

Housing

Some people like communities designed for only the elderly, while others really would prefer intergenerational areas. Regardless, you will want to choose an area that feels right to you, preferably with an active neighborhood watch program and well-lit streets. Small things such as larger street signs and sidewalks can make a big difference, too.

You might consider looking for an area where you can get a single-level home to avoid stairs. Finally, perhaps that home on the hill with the beautiful view might not be the best choice if you want to walk the neighborhood once and awhile. A pre-dinner passeggiata is a good way to help keep you fit and let you see and interact with the neighbors.

A Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist such as Fazzolari Custom Homes and Renovations understands the needs you have and is trained to help you sort through these decisions and make it easier for you to choose the ones that are right for you. If you are considering options for aging in place in the Vancouver, WA or Portland, OR areas then call Fazzolari Custom Homes and Renovations at 360-571-7027 or fill out our form for a free consultation on aging in place in your home.