As the calendar year flips over to a new year, we are bombarded with ads and images of “NEW YEAR, NEW YOU!” The reality is, as the year changes, we’re the same “us.” People often get inspired by the new year, making resolutions, and taking the opportunity to make big changes. Usually by February those resolutions are abandoned, and people are feeling guilty for being unable to reinvent themselves.

This year, we challenge you not to resolve to become a “new” you, but rather to create a “new” plan, or update an existing plan to help you age successfully.

What does aging successfully mean? At PPH, we believe that answer is different for everyone. Some people choose to move to a community like PPH to enjoy their lives now and have a plan for their future. Others choose to stay in their home.

We do have a certain number of “musts” when you make or update a plan to age successfully. We have outlined the important components of a successful aging plan below:

  • Meet with an eldercare attorney.
    • This is a good starting point if you don’t already have an estate plan in place. An eldercare attorney can help you with important documents such as: wills, income tax planning, medical needs, financial and medical powers of attorneys.
  • Devise a safety plan.
    • There are a variety of “smart” products for the tech-savvy.
      • Life Alert – this is a personal emergency system that can be linked with 911 and your emergency contacts.
      • Smart watches – these handy devices can detect falls, heart abnormalities, and other health conditions. It can be set up with 911 and your emergency contacts.
      • Smart phone apps – SNUG is one example of an app that has you check in once (or more) times each day. If you do not check in with the app, your emergency contacts are notified.
    • For the non-tech-savvy, there are also options.
      • If you plan to age in place in your home, hire a care coordinator. A care coordinator has a healthcare background and can guide and support you with your health concerns, home maintenance (helps to vet qualified professionals), and generally act as your advocate.
  • Identify an aging ally.
    • An aging ally is someone who is ready to help you, should you need more care. They are your safety net for healthcare emergencies and concerns. This person can be a friend, elder care attorney, care manager, doctor, neighbor, family, or anyone you trust.
  • Have a plan if you can no longer care for yourself.
    • If you plan to stay in your home, make sure it is safe as you age. If your house is two stories, make sure you have a full bathroom and bedroom on the ground floor. Other modifications to consider are handicapped accessible entrances (ramps), wider doorways, walk-in (or roll in) showers, lower countertops and counters.
    • If you plan to move to a senior living community, visit and choose the community at least a year before you plan to make a move. When visiting communities, be prepared with your list of questions about what is important to you in a community and visit at least three! A handy list of what to look for is included here.
  • Strengthen your social circle.
    • Facebook does not count as socializing! Consider where you live now. Are you able to get out to socialize? Do you drive? If not, can you access public transportation? A good way to get out and socialize is to join a special interest group such as a book club, card club, or fitness center.
  • Maintain a schedule.
    • An important part of successful aging is having purpose. Create and maintain a schedule. Have a place to go every day. It could be the grocery store, senior center, volunteer work, or a social club.
  • Define and communicate your long-term care plan.
    • It’s great to have your plan, however it does not help if you have not communicated your wishes with your loved ones.
    • 69% of Americans will need long-term care in their lifetimes. Only 39% THINK they will need long-term care. This is why it is important to make sure you identify who you want to know your wishes and plan when and if you need care.
  • Identify someone to check in with regularly.
    • Have someone you trust be your “check in” buddy. If they don’t hear from you at the agreed upon time, they will know to check on you. This “check in buddy” can be a friend, family member, or a hired professional.
  • Seek support if you are worried or concerned.
    • This is the most important takeaway from this post. If you feel concerned about your current living environment or do not know where to start to help you make a plan, reach out now, before you are in an emergency.


We hope you find these tips helpful and remember, you are still the same you in the new year, however it is the perfect time to make one of your resolutions to make a plan!