According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, 88 percent of Americans over the age of 65 want to be able to live out their lives in their own homes. It is even more interesting to note that 92 percent of seniors said that they would want to stay in their own community, no matter what type of living arrangement they needed. The option to stay in one’s own community is called aging in place.
What Is Aging In Place?
The idea of being able to remain in one place while you age is called aging in place, and it is becoming very popular throughout the country. If you intend to age in place instead of entering a senior living community, then you need to weigh the pros and cons of aging in place before you make your decision.
There is more to getting older than just worrying about medical care. There are several factors to consider that could make utilizing in-home care providers a practical solution. But, there are also situations where moving into a senior living facility is best for everyone involved.
Pros Of Aging In Place
The most significant positive aspect of aging in place is the ability to live out your golden years in the home you love. With the help of in-home care providers, you can do everything you need to do to live a relatively independent life at home for the rest of your life.
According to the Huffington Post, aging in place can reduce costs to the overall medical system by reducing the number of emergency room visits a senior may need, and reducing the number of people who live in nursing homes. When there is someone in a senior’s home to provide care on a regular basis, that prevents seniors from falling and injuring themselves. It also prevents the need to put more of a burden on the already over-crowded nursing home industry.
Improved Quality Of Life
Seniors who age in place respond better to the care they are given because there is a general improvement in their quality of life. The United States Department of Health and Human Services mentions that advances in Internet technology have made it possible for doctors to do routine examinations on seniors living in rural areas, and it also allows doctors to offer valuable medical advice to seniors as well.
Aging at home takes a great deal of the financial strain off of public medical systems, and it gives seniors a quality of life they can appreciate. When seniors are allowed to age at home, they retain their independence and improve their overall emotional health.
Cons Of Aging In Place
The idea of aging in place sounds almost romantic, but there is still work to be done before it is possible for any senior to age in place. Unfortunately, the changes the body experiences as someone ages can make aging in place difficult. For example, a senior who lives alone may find that caring for themselves and maintaining their home is not as easy as it was. Those few hours a day where in-home care providers offer assistance are not enough to get everything done, and that causes problems.
Many seniors require regular monitoring of their medical conditions in order to be able to age in place, and that becomes expensive. There will come a point where the senior will have to admit that living in a certified senior living facility makes more financial and medical sense than aging in place.
Reduced Mobility While Living Alone
While the idea of aging in place sounds great on the surface, there are some realities that seniors must cope with if they are to live long lives. One of those realities is that a deterioration in the lack of mobility as a person ages means that they are not as able to get around as they used to. The result is a lack of companionship and contact with others that is essential to a healthy lifestyle.
In an assisted living community, seniors have the option of keeping to themselves or making new friends on a regular basis. The availability of scheduled activities in an assisted living facility means that seniors can get the exercise they might not get if they were aging in place, and it allows them the freedom to go shopping, visit friends, and go to doctor’s appointments. Without an assisted living facility to arrange for all of that transportation, a senior who is aging in place can become cut off from the rest of the world.
Consider The Services & Price
There are a growing number of services and organizations that offer the services necessary for seniors to age in place, but the services become extremely expensive as the monitoring and medical needs increase. There are people who are trying to make aging in place a reality for everyone, but it may not be the best option for some seniors as they enter their golden years.