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Family 411: Aging in place

(MGN Online)

MARYSVILLE, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) Home is where the heart is -- or for many seniors where they feel most comfortable.

"I spend more money on bird food than anything else," said Betty Vrbancic.

A window to her world. Vrbancic sits feet from two of her loves.

"I fell in love with birding and gardening," said Vrbancic.

Vrbancic has been right at home in her duplex for near a decade.

"It's great being independent and I've been independent all my life," said Vrbancic.

Everything is just how she likes it.

"If you don't want to meet your neighbors that day, you don't have to," said Vrbancic.

Carolyn Block is an OhioHealth certified occupational therapy assistant, who studies aging in place.

"Aging in place is where that senior wants to live," said Block.

Block says many seniors want to stay close to friends or their church rather than relocate their lives to a nursing or retirement home.

"Some of the people I've seen in time live in their houses 30 or 40 plus years and to have to pick up and move their things and be selective of what they want isn't a choice they really want," said Block.

Vrbancic says she enjoys the freedom to come and go and do things as she pleases.

"They have a lot of good things but home is much better," said Vrbancic.

Block says family, friends and neighbors can help support seniors who want to stay home.

"How are they getting their food are they safe making their food," said Block.

Vrbancic says her daughter wanted to narrow the distance between the two with her health problems.

"She does my shopping for me and she does cleaning and we visit a lot," said Vrbancic.

Block says some people qualify for a nurse, home health aide and home therapy.

"You could get oxygen you can get IV nurse telehealth that comes out," said Block.

Vrbancic can have her vitals checked while bird watching. So she can stay close to her comforts.

"I have more peace now than any time in my life," said Vrbancic.

Block says it's a tough conversation to have with your loved one about aging in place but an important one so families can discuss options to stay in the home.

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