What is Aging in Place?
The concept of aging in place is to allow someone to live where they choose without compromising quality of life. Ideally, the quality of life should even improve for these seniors. Therefore, it’s important to start planing for retirement early so that aging in place is easily achievable. Aging in place can happen in a seniors own home, the home of a loved one, assisted living center, independent living center, or nursing facility.
When aging in place, seniors should be able to have access to all the care and services needed. Otherwise, they may not be able to age in place, and have to relocate a time or two to meet these needs. This can be frustrating, tiring, time consuming, and costly for both the seniors and their families.
There are many common issues that seniors face when they age such as decreased mobility, hearing loss, vision loss, increased risk of illness, reduced muscle strength, and reduced mental processing capabilities. For these reasons, it is extra important to keep seniors comfortable and safe. Being prepared and having a plan is the easiest step to achieving that goal. It can also help families avoid unnecessary challenges such as the expenses of moving, making changes to their own home to make it more accessible, added stress, and declining health.
Why is this so important? Because other than personal comfort and safety, our seniors and their health account for a big portion of our economy. According to the U.S. Census Board, seniors will make up about 20% of the U.S. population by the year 2030. Thats 70 million Americans age 65 or older. The generations to follow only grow in population size. Concerns are growing regarding the insufficient resources.
Things to Consider
When choosing where to age in place, there are some key factors to consider;
how do you want to spend your retirement? What are your health care needs? How do you want your home set up? What kind of assistance is needed? Will your home need to be modified to accommodate mobility changes? How will daily home and yard work be handled? What are options for transportation?
It is important to figure out the desired lifestyle just as much as the health needs. Lifestyle choices include geographical location, distance from loved ones, and living alone vs. with family or community. It is also important that families discuss this plan together, so that everyone has the support they need and can properly prepare.