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Last Updated on June 13, 2024

Why Is Aging in Place Important?

Aging is an inevitable part of life. It’s important to age in a healthy way and equally important to maintain independence as much as possible and for as long as possible. Aging in place lets you stay in your home, but it requires modifications that adapt to any changes in your physical capabilities and preferences.

Some advantages of aging in place involve cost, familiarity, and comfort. Read on to learn about the challenges and benefits of living at home as you age and tips to help ease into the years ahead.

Challenges and Benefits of Aging at Home

The aging in place definition is simply the act of staying in your home as you age. More than portable wheelchair ramps and threshold ramps, it’s about accommodating a livable lifestyle.

Consider this aging-in-place checklist as you weigh the pros and cons of staying home versus moving to a facility.

Comfort: Most people are more comfortable in their own space. They’ve decorated their homes, organized their pantries, and enjoyed the view from their window.

Cognitive Abilities: Statistics record the fact that seniors who aged in place – and stayed social with a strong social network – saw 70 percent less cognitive decline.

Self-preservation: Staying at home and being more independent increases seniors’ confidence, which does combat lethargy and cognitive decline.

There are many benefits to aging in place, but so are the challenges.

Retrofitting: Most homes are not handicap friendly and may include many segments of stairs, so items like accessibility ramps, handrails in bathrooms, and stairlifts need to be added to accommodate any changes in physical abilities.

Professional Care: Some people require more care than others, and an in-home nurse isn’t always an affordable option.

Location Isolation: As people age, so do their children or caregivers, and they often move away and cannot care for their aging family members.

Aging in place is the ideal situation for most people as they age. With any life decision comes the pros and cons, and that can change over time, too. 

Lastly, aging in place technology can help keep people in their homes longer. For example, in-home cameras can keep an eye on your family members. Home assistants like Google, Siri, and Amazon can be a two-way communication option if someone falls. Also, a cell phone can be a lifeline for someone aging at home who may have injured themselves and cannot leave.

Aging in Place Means Planning Ahead

While long-term care insurance helps offset any unforeseeable costs of living in a nursing care facility or long-term care facility, you can still prepare and plan ahead for living at home.Painted handicap sign on a blue background for an article about why aging in place is important.

Cost is a top consideration and benefit of aging in place. When specific criteria are met, Medicare will pay for the first 100 days in a nursing home, or skilled nursing facility, which is often not enough time. 

Aging in place home modifications can be made over time rather than overnight. For example, buying a one-level home with wide doorways and easy-access living removes the need for accommodations upstairs.

Planning ahead can also include buying a home with handicap-accessible bathrooms and living spaces. Lastly, saving funds for in-home care or in-patient facilities can help ease the burden of costs later on.

The benefits of aging in place are countless. However, the primary benefit is the freedom and familiarity of being at home — the place you likely feel the most comfortable to be in.

For more information about aging in place and how to make accommodations for someone making their home their true forever home, contact Williams Lifts today.