Some Support • Aging • Goal 1:
Incorporate Aging Supports
Action step 1.
Assess your living situation and needs for now and the future.
As you reach later life, you must combine planning for a lifestyle that supports your aging with planning the support you already need or may 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. These may include new or changing health issues, as well as changes to where you can get the care that you need.
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 and wants for this new phase of life.
Based on your scan, you can see how your wants and needs for housing may have changed. For some people, aging changes how they might live independently. It is important to plan for what you want as well as plan for any situation where older age makes it harder to maintain 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.
Words to know
Action step 3.
Discuss your future need for modifications and care with your support network.
Whether you are moving or are staying in the same place, consider if you need a new adaptation or adjustment to your living space to make it safe and practical for you. Talk with your housing provider if you have any concerns or questions.
Your support network may also include people who are aging, which may mean you need to reach outside of that network for kinds of assistance.
Plan now for a housing adaptation and support network that can provide the degree of support that you anticipate you need for the coming years. This may be a combination of trusted people and tools, such as wearable technology, environmental sensors or other devices.
Action step 4.
Adapt services and supports for current needs and other aging supports.
At this phase, you may find you need Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), or changes to the services you currently receive. HCBS is the system of in-home and community assistance for people with autism, provided by state and local government and connected organizations. Do your research on HCBS options and determine whether you might need to apply for new or changes in services. 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, reconsider whether any of your necessary services must be adjusted, 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