Published On: November 3, 20226.3 min readCategories: Assisted Living

“There’s no place like home,” according to Dorothy’s most famous line in The Wizard of Oz.

And most seniors agree with her.

In fact, almost 9 out of 10 seniors in the US want to grow old at home rather than move to an assisted living community, according to several national polls.

The term for growing old at home is “aging in place,” and it is the most desired option among seniors.

Living at home brings comfort and feelings of safety and well-being. You know the house and the neighborhood, and often friends and family members are nearby.

But aging in place takes planning to ensure it is the best path for you.

Below are some factors to help you decide what is the best life plan for you and your individual circumstances.

What Is Aging In Place - Senior Agency

What is Aging in Place?

Aging in place starts with a decision to grow older in your current residence instead of moving to an assisted living community.

It is not the best choice for everyone, and the decision is complex.

Unfortunately, almost half the seniors who want to age in place have yet to think about the steps they need to take to stay home.

Some questions to consider include:

How is your health?

Do you have any medical conditions that worsen over time, making aging in place difficult or impossible?

Do you have a support network to manage the age-in-place home care you need, like home health care, doctor’s appointments, medications, physical therapy, and more?

What type of modifications does your house need?

Is your bedroom upstairs?

Are there handrails and seating in the shower, or do you have a walk-in tub?

Is there someone to help with shopping and meal preparation?

Do you or will you need help with any of the basic daily activities like bathing or dressing?

Fortunately, today there are many high-quality home healthcare services available. Aging in place for years to come might be your best option.

But, choosing between aging in place or transitioning to assisted living care is a personal decision that includes emotional, physical, and financial factors.

Housing Modifications for Aging in Place

Senior Adapted Home - House

We all love our homes, but only some houses are well-designed for aging seniors. A palatial winding staircase or three-story colonial house might be regal, but they are poor choices for aging in place. A single-story ranch house is one of the best structures for aging in place.

Many houses need only minor modifications for aging seniors to be comfortable and mobile as they age at home. Better Homes and Gardens lists the five essential home age-in-place remodeling tips:

Think About Stairs

A single-story ranch house with no exterior stairs is the best choice. But even if you have a multi-storied home, there are still options. With newer technology, inexpensive hydraulic and pneumatic elevators are available. And installation is often only a few days at most.

Lighting

Slips, trips, and falls are significant risks for seniors. And seniors’ eyes naturally get worse with age. You can install spotlights, higher illumination lights, LED lights in the closets and bathroom, nightlights, and more.

Height Adjustments

Sinks, desks, countertops, and tables can be more accessible with a few height-adjustable products. You can also have sturdy handrail-equipped step stools where needed, like closets and hard-to-reach spaces.

Make Bathrooms Safe and Easy

Most senior slips and falls happen in the bathroom, but they can be avoided with just a few changes. Experts recommend non-slip floor surfaces and a curbless shower with a hand wand. This allows accessibility with a wheelchair, or you can have a shower chair for comfort and stability.

Embrace Safe Technology

Technology is a senior’s best friend for aging in place. Motion detectors can quickly turn lights on and off automatically as needed. And now there are even smart flooring products that will alert you if the senior has a fall. Automatic stove, water, and appliance shut-off features are available to avoid accidents. Some voice command technologies allow seniors to order groceries, call their neighbors, alert police or emergency services, or call their children and grandchildren to say hello.

New products and technologies are being developed daily, making aging in place more practical than ever before.

Aging in Place Advantages

Home care - Senior Living Specialist

More Familiar and Psychologically Nurturing

There is comfort in being at home. Your home is your castle. Home is where the heart is. Home is where you feel safe and protected. Seniors list the psychological value of being home above everything else, including the monetary value of the house.

Home is where you raised your kids and had breakfast every day for decades. Routines invoke a psychological comfort that positively impacts the senior’s mental and physical health and well-being.

Less Expensive

Assisted living community options can be costly. Medicare and many health insurance programs do not cover long-term care expenses. Aging in place is usually much less expensive than moving into an assisted living community, especially if your home is paid off.

Independence at Home

Personal independence decreases with age, and most seniors will eventually need some help accomplishing everyday tasks. But today, much of that help is available through qualified in-home care services. Aging-in-place seniors can now maintain the dignity and feeling of independence as they age in their own homes.

Aging in Place Disadvantages

Senior Living At Home

Although aging in place is the most preferred option by seniors, several disadvantages make assisted living communities better choices for some. You should carefully weigh all the factors before deciding what is best for you.

Safety

Health emergencies become more frequent as we age. It is vital to have help nearby after a fall, an accident, or an emergency. Also, increasing cognitive issues like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can cause serious safety concerns. Forgetting to turn off a stove, take your medications, or getting lost in the neighborhood are all severe safety issues.

Maintaining Your Home

In addition to making your home aging-in-place friendly, ongoing maintenance and repair will be needed. This is not an issue if you have someone to take care of the renovations. But if not, the ongoing expense and project management might become a challenge. And avoiding upkeep and repairs is a safety concern.

Do You Have a Support System?

Many seniors live alone or have no family close by. Without an active support system, aging in place alone is usually not practical. Besides mental isolation, seniors need a support system that can provide the ever-increasing need for help as they age. If their adult children live far away, aging in place can be challenging without help in putting a support system in place.

Aging In Place For Seniors

Your Next Best Step

Choosing whether to age at home or move to an assisted living community is a big decision and can seem overwhelming.

Florida Senior Consulting helps seniors decide their next best steps.

We have certified staff, licensed nurse advocates, and decades of experience in the field. We are a Florida-based company with expert knowledge of the Florida senior market. While senior options can seem confusing, this is all we do.

Senior living should be on your terms, and the choice should always be yours.

Let us help. Call us, and we will answer all your questions and help you decide what is best for you or your senior loved one.

Aged Care - Independent Aged Care Consultant and Advocacy

For peace of mind, call us at (941) 661-6196 or
visit us at floridaseniorconsulting.com