Seniors Living Safely and Independently

Travel writer and author Doris Larson and her husband Gerald like their independence and freedom.

So with an eye toward making their senior years as enjoyable as possible, the couple from Kent, Ohio are investigating their options including “Aging in Place” which allows them to stay in their home with some careful planning.

“Until now, Gerald and I have been pretty independent,” says Doris. “But we both know the time will be coming when it will make more sense to get assistance in certain areas. As needed, we plan to 'farm out' certain jobs so we can have more time to travel and to spend with our children and grandchildren."

Here are some of Doris’ suggestions for others who want to “age in place” safely and enjoyably!

  1. Delegate household duties
    • Find someone else to take on any chores that you find physically exhausting or too time-consuming: mowing the lawn, snow removal, heavy house cleaning or overall house cleaning.

    WHN STAFF TIP: Why Delegate?

    Some decide to delegate this work because it's too tiring while others simply want to do something else with that time.

  2. Hire a “James”
    • If driving becomes difficult, look for a dependable driver.
    • Discuss payment at the beginning of the arrangement.

    WHN READER TIP: Who Do You Know Around You?

    You might find a recently retired neighbor who would be happy to take on the job of driving you to the grocery store, church or airport.
    Gladys, Minnesota

  3. Create a Safety Network
    • Make sure that friends and neighbors are aware of your present living situation.
    • If your neighbors notice that you're not picking up the daily paper or don't see you out walking the dog, they will know it's time to check on you.
    • Consider establishing a sequential check-in system with other seniors: Person A calls Person B and so on. That way, each household gets a call. Set up a system that works for you.

Updated: 5/2009