4 min read
6 Benefits of aging in place
Learn why the majority of older adults choose to remain in their own homes
What is aging in place? It’s a choice many people make as they grow older, preferring to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible. In fact, a new study confirms that “77% of adults 50 and older want to remain in their homes for the long term—a number that has been consistent for more than a decade.”
Why is aging in place such a popular choice? There are significant benefits to mental, physical, and emotional health. Let’s take a look at some of the specifics.
1. More independence
As we age, we still want to feel like ourselves—to freely determine our own actions. The home can represent a place of freedom, where we can express ourselves, make our own choices, and maintain a sense of agency in our lives.
There is a reason people say, “Your home is your castle.” Routines and spontaneity co-exist when we’re at home. We are free to plan meals, social interactions, sleep, and other activities to suit our own preferences. Even as care needs increase, this sense of independence can be supported at home with the help of in-home care.
2. Connection to community
Often, older adults who make the choice to age in place have lived in the same community for many years. They have friendships with neighbors and ties to community gathering spaces, such as libraries, local shops, churches, or parks. These form an essential part of their routines and social lives, and should be enjoyed as long as possible.
Maintaining a connection to community is essential, as social isolation can have serious health risks for older adults. With the support of an in-home caregiver, older adults can receive additional companionship at home. Caregivers can also help older adults continue to engage with their communities by going out together, talking about local news, and even helping with phone calls, virtual meetings, and other correspondence to maintain relationships with friends and family.
3. Familiarity with the home environment
Home is at the heart of so many memories and experiences. The emotional significance of our homes is powerful. Pictures, photographs, furniture, and mementos represent experiences that bring comfort, peace, and joy throughout our lives.
Being surrounded by familiar objects can help those experiencing memory loss, serious illness, loss of a loved one, or even changes to mobility levels. Throughout the changes that aging brings, the home environment can be a stabilizing, comforting place for both older adults and their friends and family.
4. Opportunity for movement
Managing a home takes work! Housekeeping, lawn care, home maintenance, cooking, and playing with the grandkids provide an opportunity for movement and physical activity and can easily be supported by an in-home caregiver as needed. Often, moving to a senior living community or care facility eliminates the need for these daily tasks and accounts for reduced levels of physical activity.
While there are many advantages to keeping active around the home, there are also potential risks to be aware of and plan for, as mobility, strength, and balance might decrease. Monitor the home for potential tripping or fall risks, such as stairs, cords, rugs, and items in or near walkways, and make any accommodations needed.
Some accommodations are as simple as keeping paths and walkways clear, while others may involve renovation or special equipment, such as replacing tubs with walk-in showers, adding ramps to entrances, relocating bedroom furniture to the ground floor, and more.
5. Cost of senior living care
Mainly people choose to age in place for the practical reason of cost. Depending on location and the level of care needed, assisted living can be expensive. The monthly median cost of care for assisted living in 2023 is projected to be $4774, but could go even higher. Nursing home care is almost double that of assisted living at $8390 for a shared room.
The cost of in-home care can also vary greatly, based on location and type of care. However, many families choose to provide as much care as they can, and hire supplemental in-home caregiver support, which is flexible and can be tailored to each family’s unique needs.
6. Flexible care resources to meet your needs
Sometimes, families prefer more flexible options than a senior living community can offer. Companion care when you want it, on a schedule that meets your needs, might not be available or included in the monthly cost.
Some families opt to continue in-home companionship care even after their loved ones move into a care facility, so they can receive both round the clock medical care and non-medical support and companionship from caregivers.
What’s right for you?
Ultimately the choice to age in place is a personal one, and comprises just one part of each person’s care journey. But, if your loved one has a strong desire to stay at home, to maintain their independence, stay physically active around the house, and keep ties with their community, then with planning and the use of in-home resources, you can support their decision.
Join us today!