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To help individuals and their families who wish to remain in their homes as they age, the MetLife Mature Market Institute recently introduced “The MetLife Aging in Place Workbook: Your Home As a Care Setting.”  This step-by-step guide will help assess care needs, determine whether home modification and/or assistive devices are needed, identify potential care resources and understand the associated costs. It also provides a listing of organizations and government agencies that may serve as additional resources.

The workbook is a companion piece to “The MetLife Report on Aging in Place 2.0: Rethinking Solutions to the Home Care Challenge” released earlier this year. That report estimates that substantial, but basic, design and structural modifications can cost $9,000-$12,000 or more per one-story residence, depending on the type of home and its locality.

According to the press release that accompanied this announcement, the guide features cost approximations for common modifications, which vary in different parts of the country. As an example, the guide estimates that ramps can cost between $1,600 and $3,200 for a length of 16 feet. Two grab bars are generally $250 including installation. A typical stair glide can cost up to $12,000. And, it can cost from $800 to $1,200 to adjust a door opening.

“The common wisdom is that people, when they retire, will move to warmer locales in the sun belt. However, numerous surveys indicate that Americans prefer to stay where they are as they age,” says Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. “To do so many will need to make changes to their homes so they can meet their needs and provide a safe environment in which care can be delivered. This free guide can be a useful planning tool in anticipation of a change that may lead to the need for care in the future, as well as a starting point for assessing needs in one’s home or that of a loved one when a health issue has precipitated an urgent need for adjustments.”

The workbook provides individuals with a model to assess whether their home can serve as a care setting. It poses a series of questions whose answers will help families decide if changes to the home are required to meet care needs. The guide addresses the need for equipment like walkers, shower seats, grab rails, medication reminder systems and Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS).

It also focuses on developing a care plan that includes family caregivers as well as paid care services based on identified needs. It looks at costs in each of these important areas and identifies potential funding sources.

“The MetLife Aging in Place Workbook: Your Home As a Care Setting” can be downloaded from

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