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5 Reasons More Seniors Are Aging In Place

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What’s the best place for seniors to live in their later years? There’s no one answer to this, and it depends a lot on an individual’s circumstances. That being said, in recent years, more seniors and their families have been opting to allow older individuals to age in place, essentially remaining in their homes and receiving added support there as needed.

What’s behind this trend? After years in which many families tended to place elderly relatives in assisted living facilities or nursing homes, there are several major reasons why people are choosing to age in place today.

Comfort

There’s no place like home. Any time we travel, it’s a relief to finally arrive home and get to rest in the comfort of our own bed and to enjoy the surroundings we’ve so carefully cultivated. This feeling only tends to intensify as we get older, which is why it should be no surprise that many older individuals seek to age in place for reasons related to comfort. They like their homes and they don’t want to leave, and that’s understandable.

In-Home Support

Another reason that people are choosing to age in place rather than move into a facility is that there are more programs available to support people with their needs, and these programs are also increasingly flexible.

For example, people can now choose to hire a family member or friend as their caregiver, and they can be paid through Medicaid much as a professional caregiver would be. This is actually important to the success of home health efforts today because there’s a shortage of available caregivers.

Modification Options

For most people to age in place, they’ll need to make some home modifications to stay safe. This includes installing ramps and grab bars, easy-to-use doorknobs, and other tools that can be used by people of all ages and that are highly valued by disabled people looking for housing.

That means the modifications people make now aren’t seen as making the home less appealing, but can actually drive interest by a number of potential buyer groups while also increasing the value of the property.

Finances

Aging in place can be expensive, but in the majority of cases it isn’t as expensive as a nursing home or assisted living facility would be, and it’s likely to be safer. Formal facilities are quite expensive, typically don’t have enough caregivers and nurses for the number of patients, and are rife with abuse and infections, among other issues. So, while making modifications to the home and hiring caregivers can get pricy, it’s unlikely to be the most expensive option.

Independence

Even as people become less independent with age, being able to remain at home can help them to feel more independent and is actually likely to help people maintain some skills for longer.

For example, if an elderly person is placed in a nursing home where they are no longer doing any cooking, their ability to do those things safely is likely to fade more quickly than it would if they could continue to cook at home with support. Staying at home can also motivate people to do more for themselves because they feel responsible for their needs and environment.

There are many situations in which aging in place is not an appropriate choice for an individual due to their support needs, or when they would need full-time in-home care in order to be successful in such a setting.

However, whenever possible, it is ideal for people to remain in their homes as they age, if only for the comfort they derive from those beloved and familiar surroundings.