Moderate Support • Aging • Goal 1:
Adjust to Aging Supports
Action step 1.
Assess your living situation and needs for now and the future.
As you reach later life, you must plan for a lifestyle that supports your aging and also plan for the daily supports you already need or may increasingly need in future.
Aging can also have a big effect on people’s executive functions — an area already sometimes altered by autism. Because executive functions govern day-to-day tasks and comprehension, skills that help people manage everyday life, you may encounter challenges as you age.
To reassess your list of essential needs in housing, notice:
- Tasks that are getting harder than before
- Tasks or everyday things that seem confusing
- Issues with planning, attention or impulse control that may disrupt your routine
Words to know
Action step 2.
Select the housing option that best fits your needs now.
For some people, aging changes how they might live independently, and it is important to plan for what you want and need as you age. This includes planning for changes to your current lifestyle.
While moving may seem daunting, making an advance decision about suitable housing for your later years ensures that you have done as much as possible to anticipate and adapt to any future changes.
Action step 3.
Discuss your future need for modifications and care with your support network.
Whether or not you are moving to a new home, certain factors change over time: Your need for accommodations may change, and your support network may change too. In a supportive housing setting, the network includes the managers and staff, and perhaps you rely less than ever on friends and family, and more on trained staff.
Rethink who is in your support network, and arrange to discuss with them a plan for your possible needs for accommodations and adaptations. This will help to make your living-space safe and practical for you, now and in the future.
Federal nondiscrimination laws require housing providers to make reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications for individuals with disabilities.
- From the Autism Speaks Resource Guide on finding housing and residential supports
- From the department of Housing and Urban Development's outline of federal law on rights and reasonable accommodations in housing for people with disabilities
- From homemods.org Promoting Aging in Place by Enhancing Access to Home Modifications
Words to know
Action step 4.
Adapt services and supports for current needs and other aging supports.
At this time in your life, you may find you have more need for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), the system of in-home and community assistance for people with autism, provided by state and local government and connected organizations. Whether you are a longtime client or applying for the first time, you should expect adjustments of HCBS services to take time to process.
As you adjust your housing and routines for your comfort and safety, you can consult with the property managers where you live about which of your services need to change, including those coordinated or provided through Medicare or Medicaid.
Your support network, including your medical doctors and any caregivers can advise and support you in this decision.