Updated: Feb 25
Due to the attachment to the home, it can represent an extension of an individual’s identity, thus “home” can be more than just a place of residence. As people age, the “home” becomes a reminder of multiple experiences that was shared with friends and family. “Aging in place” is referred to a physical location and the right “fit” between the environment and individuals physical and psychological abilities. (3) Helping a loved one make a choice between staying at home or move to an assisted living community can be emotional and stressful. Below is some questions that should be considered if you or a loved one are looking to "age in place".
PHYSICAL HEALTH CHANGES:
You or a loved one need to keep in mind that as our body diminishes and emergency care is required, would there be someone nearby to help? Some people have relocation to continuing care retirement communities to help with emergency support if family members are not available all the time, which helps one to live independently now and offers increasing levels of support when needed.
MENTAL HEALTH CHANGES:
Forgetting simple tasks like bathing regularly, not getting out of bed, and repeating conversations could have a factor in choosing to age in place or move to an assisted living community. Although, people have increased their length of stay in the home by bringing in a home health care worker. However if mental health continues to decrease more supervision could be needed and an assisted living community could help provide the security and peace of mind that your or your loved one is being taken care of.
EVERYDAY TASKS & HOME MAINTENANCE:
Considering aging in place you or a loved one must also consider everyday tasks and home maintenance. Would you or a loved one be able to accomplish everyday tasks such as washing dishes, laundry, and vacuuming the floors? Would you or your loved ones be able to take care of their personal hygiene tasks such as bathing? Is there a family member that would be able to help you or your loved ones with these tasks?
SECURITY & HOME MODIFICATIONS
Before making a decision home modifications and security need to be looked considered. Will it be a big expense to modify the home with grab bars, and adequate safeguards to prevent falling in the home? Security systems are not foolproof, response times can be slow, and some homes can lack the adequate safeguards. An assisted living community is built with the aging population in mind by being equipped with emergency call buttons, round-the-clock-security staffs that monitored the grounds and entrances.
SOCIAL LIFE & COMPANIONSHIP
Living at home could cause you or a loved one to become isolated while retirement communities offer an option to build new relationships and participate in planned activities. You or a loved one are able to stay active and to build memories on new experiences.
Would you or a loved one be able to drive? Would you need to rely on family for transportation? Most assisted living facilities, provide regular transportation to shopping malls, grocery stores, and doctors office.
MEALS AND NUTRITION
Would you or a loved one be able to cook regular meals? By not cooking regular meals, could lead to poor nutrition, which could lead to illness. Retirement community offers meal plans and the opportunity to socialize with other retirees.
Planning on aging in place provides people with the independence of staying home at home. According to AARP, 87 percent of adults age 65+ want to stay in their current home and community as they age. Among people age 50 to 64, 71 percent of people want to age in place. The challenge is how will the assisted living communities, provide adults with the independence they want from "aging in place" but with benefits of staying in a facility.