“Aging in place” had become a popular concept as the US population ages and health and prosperity increase. Whereas in the past, older people would have to move in with younger relatives to take care of them or require long term care, more of today’s elderly are opting to grow old in their homes.
What is aging in place?
Aging in place describes the phenomenon where people choose to live in their homes as they grow older. The people who choose this option are likely to be in relatively good health and have enough of a stable income to support themselves through this time as well as make the necessary adjustments to their homes to make them suitable for this new time in their lives. A recent Harvard University study showed that homeowners spent more than $232 billion in home renovations in 2017, the most since 2007, before the recession. The study indicates that the aging population is a large part of the increase. People are retiring with adequate savings, and they want to live out their days in the homes where they raised their families.
How can it be done?
In opposition to considering other long term care options, the older population wants to make the necessary adjustments so that their current home can be a viable living space with greater access and mobility.
Real estate agents today often toot the various mobility features of available homes as positive selling points even for younger clients, noting that these built-in elements make these homes a good buy. In their current condition, they can last homeowners through old age.
The average cost of renovating a home for aging is around $9,000, which is much lower than the cost of moving into a residence for older people, which costs on average $50,000 a year. The lower cost and the emotional boon to the homeowners makes it an ideal choice for those who want to make it happen.
Some of the popular alternatives for long term care
Depending on the level of long term care that a person or a couple might need, there are various alternatives to aging in place:
- Moving in with a relative, most likely a child. When there were no other options, this was the way to go. For thousands of years generations lived together, and especially at a time like this, parents would or can move in with a loved one to take care of them.
- Assisted living – if someone’s long term care needs are minimal, he might enjoy the amenities of an assisted living residence. He can retain his independence, yet take advantage of on-site concierge and medical staffing, cleaning services and dining.
- A retirement community. Instead of renovating your own home to meet your needs in old age, you can purchase a fully age-appropriate home in a community, often gated, with like-minded adults. There are often community activities geared toward your social life.
- For those who require more intense long term care, there are nursing homes and facilities to provide more acute services.
At the Alemeda Center, we offer premium long term care for seniors who can not age in place. We provide everything someone needs twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Our qualified and compassionate nursing team gives gentle and professional caring for people who need long term care services.