While there are many options in senior living communities, most older people prefer the home where they have been living. Staying in one's home and one's community as one ages is often referred to as "aging in place."
When seniors choose to age in place, they keep the sense of familiarity, attachment and security they associate with their home and neighbors while retaining a strong sense of independence. But it also requires making smart decisions about their home and lifestyle in order to stay safe and comfortable.
While the majority of Americans age in place, it is not meant for everyone. Before you or your loved one comes to a decision, it's important to consider the benefits and potential problems of committing to an aging in place lifestyle for the foreseeable future.
Many seniors enjoy aging in place, for the reasons listed below.
Aging in place can come with its own hurdles as well.
Some seniors may become too attached to an area and refuse to move even though it would be in their best interest to do so. For example, seniors who cannot keep their home in good order or who can't afford necessary repairs and safety modifications are at a high risk of injuring themselves.
If friends and family are far away, isolation can be a serious issue--remember, staying social is an integral part of being both emotionally and physically healthy.
Seniors with serious physical or memory problems, like Alzheimer's, should not live alone.
Certain things can make the aging in place process more comfortable.
Remember, as time goes by, more assistance and care may be needed. Being aware of and addressing these changing needs is an important part of aging in place safely.