Aging in place is when someone stays in their own home or community rather than moving into a nursing home. Studies done over recent years have shown as much as 80% of older adults would rather age in place. If aging in place is the preferred option, it can come with a host of benefits.
Before we get to the benefits, let’s review home modifications to ensure the safest and healthiest outcome to aging in place.
Home Modifications for Aging in Place
As adults age, one of the biggest risk factors is falling. Chronic health issues, vision loss and decreased mobility can all factor into the concerns of aging in place. With some minor adjustments, a home can be made safe and practical.
There are numerous ways to prevent falls at home. Many solutions are cost-efficient ways to make a home safer for someone who wants to age in place.
Some possible adjustment you can make to a home to protect older adults from falling include:
- Installing non-slip flooring
- Widening doorways for walkers and wheelchairs
- Changing doorknobs so they are easier to grasp
- Rearranging the home so the bedroom is on the first floor to avoid stairs
Benefits of Aging in Place
Why would someone want to age in place rather than move to a nursing home? The decision between aging in place and moving into a nursing home is a personal one made by the person and oftentimes, their family as well. Many different factors must be considered before making the decision between a nursing home and aging in place.
The following are some of the reasons why an older adult may choose age in place over moving to a nursing home:
Maintaining a Sense of Home
The most obvious benefit of aging in place that there are strong emotions attached to a home. Many people spend their life building their home and creating memories. People who have lived in the same home for most of their lives have a well-established network of friends, family and support from their community.
They also are more likely to have an active routine where they are getting out of the home to socialize, which gives people a sense of purpose and value. These are all important factors to remember when deciding between moving to a nursing home and choosing the aging in place option.
Lowering Monthly Costs
Another important factor is cost. The cost of aging in place is drastically lower than the cost of nursing home living. One study showed the average cost of a nursing home to be approximately $3,500 per month compared to the average cost of aging in place being around $900 per month. Services exist to deliver meals or have a caregiver come to the home to check in and on a person’s health.
What to Consider With Aging in Place
Aging in place is a decision that is best made before the need is there. You may not need the help today, but it’s important to think about what type of help you’d like to have and plan in advance.
Some factors to think about if you want to age in place are:
- Personal care
- Household chores
- Money management
Ask yourself these questions and be honest about your current health and health history:
- Is it possible you will need physical help with personal care or household chores?
- Do you like cooking for yourself?
- Will you be able to access healthcare or do you need a health care provider to come to you?
By asking these questions you can make decisions now to ensure you are ready to age in place.
Support for Aging in Place
Remaining in control of your life and your health, as well as your home, is a great way to maintain the quality of life as you age. There are a variety of ways to get the help you need to make the correct adjustments to age in place.
Start with the people you know like family and friends. There are also community and local government resources, geriatric care managers and federal government resources available. If aging in place is your preference, there is no better time to start than now.
Remaining in your own home or the home of a loved one can be the best way to ensure the quality of life for aging adults. By making a few adjustments in the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom, aging in place can prove to be the most beneficial way to spend your later years. Aging in place can be more beneficial for your physical and financial health.
“Aging in Place: A Guide for Seniors and Families”. Care.com. Retrieved from: https://www.care.com/c/stories/5432/aging-in-place/. Accessed on November 7, 2018.
“Aging in Place”. Canadian Medical Association. Retrieved from: https://www.demandaplan.ca/post/seniors-homecare-aging-in-place. Accessed on November 7, 2018.
“In-Home Care Offers Cost-Effective Option for Aging in Place”. Comfort Keepers. Retrieved from: https://www.comfortkeepers.ca/in-home-care-offers-cost-effective-option-for-aging-in-place/. Accessed on November 7, 2018.
“Aging in Place: Growing Old at Home”. National Institute on Aging. Retrieved from: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/aging-place-growing-old-home. Accessed on November 7, 2018.