When asked, the majority of seniors would answer that they’d like to stay in their homes as they age. There are many benefits of aging in place, and today we’d like to talk about some of them. Please join us.
Welcome to the Seniors Circle, where we hope to inspire and help others by providing valuable, relevant information related to caring for an elderly loved one. Hi, my name is Dawn Neely and I’ll be your host. Thank you for joining us.
According to one AARP survey, roughly 90% of American seniors wish to live at home for as long as possible. I think we can all agree that seniors vastly much more prefer to age in their home environment than transition into a facility or senior community. Frankly, if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that when possible, home is the safest place to be. Seniors generally feel this way even in cases where physical or cognitive decline make it difficult to live independently.
In my over 13 years of experience of serving seniors, I can confidently say that seniors want to stay in their homes. However, given the challenges of aging, we also know how hard it can be to choose between aging in place and senior living communities.
Becoming aware of how living at home benefits seniors makes the decision much easier. We know that those who are able to age in place enjoy a sense of independence and comfort that only being home can provide. On average, they also enjoy better health outcomes, while also incurring lower care costs.
While the reasons may seem obvious, here are four things that make remaining in their homes so important to our seniors.
They want to maintain their independence. Age-related physical and cognitive decline can make day-to-day life quite challenging for seniors. At a certain point, elderly adults need help from others to accomplish everyday tasks. At this point, total independence is no longer possible, but with help from family, friends and professional caregivers, seniors can maintain aspects of independence while still living at home. Most important of all, elderly adults have control over their routines, activities and life decisions.
This kind of independence is less likely for elderly adults who move to senior living communities. In these communities, residents have a little less control over their lives and their routines. There can be a certain dependence that develops upon nursing staff and aides who are forced to split their time and attention between multiple residents.
By aging in place, seniors can maintain a greater degree of personal independence. They’re able to live their lives as they see fit, and they enjoy a sense of dignity unavailable to many elderly adults.
Familiar surroundings and routines are important. The phrase “Home is where the heart is” might be a timeworn cliche, but its sentiment remains as true as ever. A person’s home is the most important place in their life. It gives them a sense of familiarity, comfort, and security.
For many seniors, the emotional value of home is far more important than its monetary value. Elderly adults cherish having a space that is truly their own, a space that isn’t just like their home, but actually feels like one. While some seniors quickly adapt to community living, many seniors never truly feel at home in a nursing home or assisted living community.
Staying in one’s home allows older adults to stay in a familiar and cherished space. This is a critical and underrated factor in seniors’ quality of life.
Healthier and safer environments are important. In a large number of situations, seniors choose to live in nursing or assisted living communities because they believe this will be safer and healthier than living at home. While true in some cases, this belief is often unfounded. Several studies have found that nursing home residents have worse health outcomes than seniors who choose to age in place, even if seniors are in similar health.
There are several factors at play here. One is the emotional toll of leaving home. Homesick seniors are at a higher risk of stress and depression, and both accelerate physical and cognitive decline. Another reason is the risk of infection. Studies have shown that nursing home residents are at much higher risk of bacterial and viral infections, including life-threatening infections such as pneumonia. 2020 certainly is a prime example of how quickly a virus can spread.
Aging in place tends to improve seniors’ quality of life, which improves their physical health. It also insulates them from the bacterial and viral risks found in senior living communities, and their chance of contracting a serious illness.
Cost savings of living at home also should be taken into account. Nursing homes and assisted living communities are often too expensive for seniors and their families. In an assisted living center, a bed in a shared room will typically run between 10 to $20,000 a year, while a private room could cost upwards of $75,000. These costs can climb even higher in nursing communities when seniors require specialized care.
Aging in place also comes with a price tag though. Many seniors need to modify their homes to make them safer and more livable. In a number of cases, seniors also need to hire an in-home care provider to assist with light housekeeping, routine errands, or activities of daily living.
Despite these costs, aging in place is typically less expensive than living in an assisted living or nursing facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who choose to age in place can save thousands of dollars per month in care costs.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from aging in place and would like to learn more about aging in place, please give us a call. Seniors Helping Seniors makes life at home easier for seniors by customizing home care plans that are designed specifically for an individual’s needs. Call us to learn more about our services or to request a free in-home consultation. You can reach Seniors Helping Seniors at 248-969-4000.
Download Free Home Care Assessment Checklist here: https://theseniorcircle.com/checklist