Is Aging at Home Realistic for Seniors?

aging at home

Most seniors want to continue living in their own homes

In an AARP survey of U.S. seniors, 90% said that they want to continue living in their current homes as they age. That’s called aging in place.

Most want to age in place so they can live by their own rules in their own home. They also want to stay near friends and family.

 

Realistically, many won’t be able to age in place

Aging at home isn’t realistic for everyone. Many seniors think they’ll be just fine without any help, but the government estimates that 70% of people who reach age 65 will eventually need long-term care.

And, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, 37% of people aged 65+ will receive care in a facility at some point in their lives, with an average stay of one year.

Those with family who can help or who can afford in-home care can choose to stay in their own homes. But family isn’t always available or able to provide the needed care. Plus, in-home care is expensive (traditional agencies charge $25/hour) and isn’t covered by Medicare.

The costs and burden on family often leaves seniors with no choice but to move to a care facility.

 

Serious health conditions make aging in place difficult

The level of care needed because of a serious health condition (like Alzheimer’s, falls, or stroke) usually force seniors to move out of their own homes.

 

Preparation helps seniors age in place

Falls are one of the most preventable causes of lost independence. They’re the leading cause of injury-related visits to the emergency room in the U.S. and cause 75% of accidental deaths in people over 65. Yikes!

Only 20% of seniors have planned ahead to create a home that helps them safely age in place. Simple home modifications keep seniors safer and reduce fall risk despite the physical changes that come with normal aging, like worsening eyesight, poor balance, reduced flexibility, etc.

 

Bottom line

If you know that your senior wants to age in place, help them stay as independent as possible by making their home senior-friendly. Arrange home modification services, install simple grab bars, and make quick fixes (like these or these).

 

By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Sources: AARP, In Your Home, Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies
Image: Home Instead Senior Care Adelaide

 

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