What is “Aging in Place”?
Aging in place describes a senior homeowner’s ability to live independently in their homes for as long as possible. As the baby boomers age, the 60+ population will spike to more than 75 million by the end of 2022. Research shows that baby boomers’ expectations of how they will receive care differ from that of their parents’ generation. Overwhelmingly, they will seek care in their own homes and will be less likely to move into congregate living settings. To do this you have to have a plan to implement safety, mobility, security, and functional use of the current home. By adapting and redesigning the senior’s current home and habits, including installing assistive technologies and arranging for regular help from outside resources/ support services he or she can “age in place” while maintaining a safe and independent lifestyle in their most familiar and comfortable surroundings. Nursing homes, to many, represent a loss of freedom and a reduced quality of life. Too often, seniors and persons with disabilities or impairments are placed in group homes or assisted-living facilities without exploring this highly desirable and option.
Considerations for those wishing to age in place:
DS Murphy recommends consulting with your doctor and homecare provider to further outline design considerations for homeowners whose mobility or physical condition requires changes to “age in place” in their residence. Talking with family members and your financial advisors to assess long term home maintenance and a phased-in and budgeted home improvement, rather than waiting until you need many modifications at a time due to a health crisis. DS Murphy and InterNACHI advocate healthy living, as it plays a vital role in your ability to age in place. Most seniors leave their homes due to functional and mobility limitations that result from medical crises, and an inability to pay for support to stay with them in their home. Effectively managing health risks and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help you stay strong, age well, and live long at your own home.