Aging in place is when you make the decision to stay in your home as you age. More seniors are choosing this option instead of assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
Planning to Age in Place
Aging in place is used as a consideration or an option when planning for the future. When there's a plan in place, the senior will feel more comfortable about these impending life changes because they know they will be taken care of. Many seniors don't want to leave the comforts of the home they have resided in for decades and aging in place allows them to stay.
The Benefits of Aging in Place
There are many benefits to aging in place:
- You will have the freedom that comes from living in your home.
- You can preserve your independence.
- You will maintain your dignity.
- You still have access to the things you are used to in your everyday life.
- You can keep neighborly friendships and maintain your community ties.
- Aging in place (in your home) is more affordable than assisted living or a nursing home.
Some Drawbacks of Aging in Place
For a senior not wanting to move into a nursing home or assisted living facility, it may seem there are no drawbacks to aging in place. However, you may want to consider these issues:
- Medical needs may require more care than can be provided at home.
- Physical safety is a concern for seniors whose mobility is changing.
- Isolation may contribute to depression and anxiety if the senior is unable to get out frequently.
Resources for Aging in Place
In order to support their independent lifestyle, seniors may need assistance with certain activities. These needs can be incorporated into their plan for aging in place. These include:
- AARP.org is an organization that empowers people over 50 to choose how they want to live as they age by providing support and access to a wide variety of resources.
- Medicare.gov is the website for the national health insurance program for Americans 65 years and older who worked and paid into the system through a payroll tax.
- HUD.gov is the website for the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and has access to many resources and information on policies regarding housing.
- Social Security Administration offers insurance benefits (if you qualify and paid into with your work wages) that include retirement, disability, and survivors' benefits.
- National Council on Aging offers benefits, resources, and information for professionals, older adults, caregivers, and advocates.
- Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provides social and medical services for seniors who are both Medicare and Medicaid eligible so that they may remain in their community instead of living in a nursing home.
- The Eldercare Locator helps connect seniors and their families to various services that may be needed.
- Areas Agencies on Aging is an association that helps seniors or those with disabilities live with dignity in their homes as long as possible.
- National Institute on Aging is the leader in aging research. It helps understand aging and how to extend healthy, active years of life.
- Meals on Wheelsls is an organization that is dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger.
- Healthfinder.gov is a website that will give you an abundance of information and tools on how to stay healthy.
- U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers veterans long-term care, programs and tools to stay healthy as they age.
- The National Directory of Home Modification and Repair Resources is dedicated to promoting aging in place. It offers much information on home modification services which can give seniors the ability to live independently.
The Aging in Place Choice
Seniors have more choices and flexibility today than in the past. The most important thing is that understand the facts of the aging in place option and that they feel comfortable with their decision.