What is senior home aging in place?

by User Not Found | May 26, 2011

The search for the perfect senior home can be fraught with complexities ones you may have never even have thought of because it seemed so far off. But now that it’s right around the corner, a solution that is gaining popularity is known as aging in place.  In short, aging in place makes it possible for seniors to stay in the familiar surroundings of their own home, by adding the necessary resources to ensure continued health and safety.  

Aging in place is moving into the golden years without having to move, and can have significant benefits.  According to the Journal of Housing for the Elderly, almost 70% of seniors will spend the remainder of their lives in the same place they celebrated their 65th birthday. As many as six million elderly people need assistance, however, even those with more complex medical problems may still be able to age in place in their own home.

The Psychological Aspect of the Senior Home

The vast majority of the elderly population would much prefer to remain in their own senior home. Being uprooted from a home which they have likely lived in for many years—or even decades—and taken to unfamiliar surroundings can have serious psychological repercussions.  As most people know, a home is much more than brick and mortar—it is stability, privacy, familiarity and a sense of control over our future. Especially for those who have been in the same home for many years, the attachment to the senior home can be stronger than any rational thought.  

Benefits of the Senior Home

An AARP survey found that over 80% of the elderly would choose to live out their years in their own senior home, and that the possibility of having to leave their home is a significant concern.  Leaving the senior home effectively removes a large portion of the control we have over our own lives. Under that umbrella of “control” lies dignity, quality of life and independence—after all, our homes are tied firmly to our sense of security. The primary reasons the elderly prefer to remain in their homes include a comfortable and safe environment, the desire to hang on to the last vestiges of independence, proximity to family, friends and neighbors and familiarity with local services.

Challenges of Planning the Senior Home

Along with the security which comes from aging in place, there can also be special challenges involved in the senior home, both for the elderly person and the caretakers. Of course, the risk of illness or serious disability rises as we age, and, in some cases, family assistance may be limited for a variety of reasons. Families in our present-day society are not only smaller, but they are increasingly mobile, making senior care problematic.

There are significantly more women in the workforce as well as higher divorce rates. All of these things translate into a smaller pool of potential unpaid caregivers, and the cost of professional care can be prohibitively expensive for many. Once you have considered the possibilities, and caregivers and helpers are in place, safety issues must be addressed. There are many ways to ensure your home is safe and secure, and it’s a good idea to thoroughly check the home for trip hazards or other potential safety issues.  

Supportive Services for the Senior Home

Seniors who are aging in place without access to plenty of social interaction can feel the sting of isolation and loneliness. Especially for those with impaired mobility, every effort must be made to ensure daily help and regular social interactions are present. Supportive services can include housekeeping, meal delivery, or transportation to errands such as grocery shopping or going to the senior center.

Senior living will require successful planning in order to fully accommodate the physical and mental changes which typically accompany aging.  If you are into the higher-tech gadgets, check out the newest senior home aids, including emergency response systems, interactive medication monitoring and the simpler helpers such as ramps, night lights and grab bars. All of these aids can drastically increase the success of aging in place, allowing seniors to be active and productive participants in their own lives for a long time to come.

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