Aging In Place With Jenny Wagner

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[152] – When is the best time to start researching long-term care facilities? What are the most important factors to consider when aging in place?

In this episode, Jeremy Keil welcomes Jenny Wagner, Co-Owner and Elder Care Advocate of Vesta Senior Network, to talk about aging in place and long-term care planning, exploring services like helping families find senior living options and guiding them through long-term care choices. They stress the value of education in informed decision-making, address adult children’s concerns for aging parents, highlight fall prevention through eye checkups, and emphasize accessible living considerations.

Jenny discusses:

  • How she helps people find the services and long-term care they need for their situation
  • Who she works with and who typically reaches out to her
  • When you should start researching long-term care options
  • Why fall prevention is so important
  • How you can age in place well
  • What to look for in an assisted living facility
  • What happens if your care or financial situation changes
  • And more

Aging In Place

When should I start researching long-term care facilities?

One of the most common questions is, “When is the best time to start researching long-term care facilities?” There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer because it varies for everyone. 

Our guest, Jenny Wagner, Co-Owner and Elder Care Advocate of Vesta Senior Network, suggests that the right time to start researching is when you notice daily tasks start to become challenging. This could include difficulty with personal hygiene, meal preparation, medication management, or mobility issues.

It’s important to start the research process early to ensure you have enough time to explore different options, visit facilities, and make an informed decision. Waiting until a crisis occurs can limit your choices and add unnecessary stress to an already challenging situation. By starting early, you can also involve your loved ones in the decision-making process and have open discussions about your preferences and priorities.

How can I prevent falls as I age? 

80% of nursing home rehabilitation stays are from fall incidents. Falls are a common concern as we age, but there are steps you can take to prevent them. Jenny emphasized the importance of removing hazards and scheduling regular eye checkups.

Improved depth perception and reduced risk of falls, especially when walking on stairs, can be achieved through regular eye checkups. She also stressed the importance of getting eyeglasses that fit properly and checking for any contraindications between medications.

In addition to eye health, maintaining physical strength and balance is crucial. Engaging in regular exercise, such as strength training and balance exercises, can help reduce the risk of falls. It’s also important to make your living environment safe by removing tripping hazards.

By being proactive and taking these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of falls and maintain your independence as you age.

How can I age in place well? 

Aging in place is a goal for many seniors, as it allows them to maintain their independence and stay in the comfort of their own homes. Aging in place well revolves around three key elements: safety, independence, and comfort. 

Safety takes precedence as we age, addressing potential physical challenges such as reduced energy and balance. Ensuring that daily necessities are easily accessible, like laundry facilities on the same level, contributes to safety.

Independent senior communities can be a viable option, providing not only accessible living spaces but also social engagement and healthcare services, all without the need to drive. These communities mimic cruise ships, offering a range of amenities that accommodate varying preferences.

Tailoring your choices to align with your personality and needs is essential, whether it’s a senior living arrangement or a well-designed condo. By carefully considering these factors and planning ahead, you can age in place while maintaining the quality of life you desire.

What should I look for in an assisted living facility? 

When considering an assisted living facility, several important factors come into play.

Firstly, assessing the individual’s care needs is paramount, ranging from assistance with daily tasks like bathing and dressing to specialized care for issues such as memory loss or incontinence.

Financial considerations are crucial too, requiring an understanding of available resources, long-term care policies, and sustainable choices.

Personal preferences play a key role as well. Identifying activities, food preferences, and lifestyle choices helps to pinpoint a facility that aligns with the individual’s interests and needs.

Geographical proximity to family and the facility’s care track record also matter.

If you’re unsure, get an expert involved. Guidance, education about licensing, and detailed facility tours with someone who has experience can help you make a well-informed decision.

What happens if my care or financial situation changes?

As time goes on, it’s important to acknowledge that care needs and financial situations can change.

If care or health requirements shift, you might find yourself needing a different level of assistance or even medical attention that your current residence cannot provide.

Your financial circumstances may also fluctuate, potentially affecting the budget available for care. In such cases, it’s essential to have a facility or living arrangement that can accommodate these changes. 

This is why it’s important to ask facility representatives about their policies regarding adjustments to care levels and understanding the financial plans they offer for changing circumstances.

In Wisconsin, for instance, the availability of Title 19 and the Family Care program offers peace of mind, ensuring that individuals can receive necessary care even if their financial situation changes. Therefore, asking insightful questions and planning for contingencies becomes pivotal in ensuring a smooth transition and continued well-being.


To learn more about aging in place, check out the resources below!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or our guest, Jenny Wagner, using the contact information provided below!


Connect With Jenny Wagner:

Connect With Jeremy Keil:

About Our Guest:

Jenny Wagner, Vesta Co-Owner and Elder Care Advocate, is an experienced sales and marketing professional. Jenny has worked across a variety of specialized industries throughout her career. Each industry has required her to become knowledgeable in a very specific field. Whether working in a technical sales environment with chemists and packaging engineers, or doing crisis management for a distribution firm, Jenny learned to be the problem-solver that she is today. Using her problem solving skills to help families through an emotionally difficult time is what Jenny loves most about her current role. Jenny lives in Wauwatosa, is married to Michael, and they are blessed with two sons and their dog, Archie.



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