Chances are, you’ve heard the term “aging in place.” Aging in place means choosing to remain at home instead of moving to a senior living arrangement. More than three-quarters of Americans age 50 or older want to stay in their own home for as long as possible, even if they will need assistance, according to a survey by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
Aging in place typically means that older adults get to retain a level of autonomy and independence not available with other senior living options. Not only does it allow them to continue to live in a familiar home, surrounded by treasured possessions, but they can remain close to neighbors and shopkeepers, whom they may have known for decades. On the financial end, the cost of care at home is often lower than the price of care in a senior living community or skilled nursing facility. Seniors vastly prefer aging in place to facility care, even in cases where physical or cognitive decline makes it difficult to live independently
This decision is easier for many families when they’re aware of how living at home benefits seniors. Seniors who age in place enjoy a sense of independence and comfort that only home can provide. They also want better health outcomes on average, despite the lower cost of care.
Here’s a look at four reasons why home is so essential to the quality of life of the elderly.
Why retirees prefer aging in place
Maintaining your dignity and independence. Age-related physical and cognitive decline can make everyday life difficult for the elderly. At some point, elderly adults need help from others to carry out their daily tasks. Total independence is no longer possible at this point. But with the help of family, friends, and professional caregivers, the elderly can maintain aspects of freedom while still living at home. Most importantly, elderly adults have control over their routines, activities, and life choices.
Seniors who move into senior living facilities would not be able to maintain this level of independence. Residents of these facilities have little say over their lives and routines. Many seniors become reliant on nursing staff, who must divide their time and energy among several residents.
Seniors can achieve a higher level of personal independence by aging in place. They have the freedom to live their lives as they see fit, and they have a sense of dignity that many older adults lack. Below are four significant benefits of aging in place.
Familiar Setting and Routines
The most important place in a person’s life is their home, which provides a sense of familiarity, comfort, and protection. The emotional value of a home is much more important to many seniors than its monetary value. Older adults value having their own space. Many seniors never feel at home in a nursing home or assisted living facility, despite adjusting quickly. Meanwhile, aging in place helps seniors to remain in a comfortable and familiar setting.
Healthier and Safer Environment
Many people choose to live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities because they feel safer and healthier than living at home. Although this is true in some circumstances, it is often baseless. Nursing home patients, including those of similar health, have worse health outcomes than seniors who chose to age in place, according to a research article featured in BMC Geriatrics.
There are several factors at work here. One is the psychological impact of leaving home. Seniors who are homesick are more likely to experience stress and depression, all of which hasten physical and cognitive deterioration.
Seniors’ quality of life improves as they age in place, which benefits their physical health. It also protects them from bacterial and viral infections common in senior living facilities, lowering their risk of developing a severe illness.
Living at Home Saves Money
For many seniors and their families, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are prohibitively costly. A bed in a shared room costs between $10,000 and $30,000 per year in an assisted living facility, while a private room will cost up to $75,000. When seniors need specialized treatment, these costs will skyrocket in nursing homes.
The cost of aging in place is also a consideration. Many senior citizens need home modifications to make them safer and more livable. In some instances, seniors will also need an in-home caregiver’s services to help with light housekeeping, errands, or everyday activities.
Despite these prices, aging in place is usually less costly than staying in a nursing home or assisted living facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who chose to age in place will save thousands of dollars a month in care costs.
Hiring an Elder Law Attorney
We are committed to protecting you and your family while promoting maximum independence and control. The Legacy Elder Law Center is compassionate and protective of personal dignity but relentless in the face of threats to your family wealth. The Legacy Elder Law Center is tough and experienced and knows how to get you the results you need to protect your family so you can focus on your future. Contact us today.