26 Nov 2019 Why Aging in Place is so Important
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” Naturally seniors want to age in place for a variety of reasons, which I will summarize in this blog, but the benefits of aging in place go beyond the person who chooses to live out their life in this fashion.
First and foremost, seniors feel comfortable continuing to live where they have been, often for many decades. The familiar surroundings fuel pleasant memories of past years, of loved ones, loved ones lost and enjoyable experiences. This is important to everyone but especially to folks who have limited opportunity to socialize outside the home due to physical or mental limitations.
Studies have shown that seniors who age in place at home live longer than those in assisted living facilities. This is probably due to a couple of reasons. At home, you know where everything is and can move about more confidently than in a new living environment. Also, in an assisted living facility a senior may be exposed to respiratory or other diseases from other occupants that can prove fatal to seniors with age-related or other compromised immune systems.
Finally, aging in place in your own home is a lot more economical than living in an assisted living facility.
Caregivers also benefit from a senior or other loved one aging in place at home. When visiting the home, caregivers are familiar with the surroundings and can assist the senior in going about daily activities when they visit. In addition, a caregiver can tailor technology to enhance the senior’s comfort and safety, such as installing voice activated smart speakers, medical alert equipment and home security systems.
Last but not least there is a societal benefit when seniors age in place in their own homes. Waiting lists for assisted living facilities are long in many areas, denying access to people who might really need them. Living at home also makes for a healthier senior, cutting down on medical expenses.
So – remember the old adage, “There is no place like home,” especially if you are a senior citizen.