Many adults express their desire to remain in their homes as they grow older, a decision called "aging in place." However, the choice to age in place isn't always as simple as it may seem. While remaining at home has some advantages, there are several potential downsides to aging in place that might prevent older adults from being as healthy and safe as possible.
How do you know if aging in place is right for you or your loved one? Let's take a closer look at the pros and cons of aging in place.
Pros of Aging in Place: Familiarity
One reason older adults want to age in place is so that they don’t have to leave the comfort of their familiar surroundings. It is only natural to feel attached to a home filled with memories, and after living in the same place for many years, it can be hard to say goodbye.
Downsizing a home filled with a lifetime of belongings is no small task, and the process can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. For this reason, some older adults try to put off the decision to downsize or make the choice not to do so, for as long as possible.
Nobody likes change, and it can be challenging for older adults to adjust to the changes that come with moving from their longtime homes. By staying at home, older adults can maintain their same routines and habits without needing to adapt to a new environment.
Cons of Aging in Place: Loneliness
Even with neighbors and family nearby, older adults living alone may feel lonely and isolated, which can cause anxiety, depression, obesity, and heart conditions. One of the advantages of moving to another space, whether it be an over 55, independent or assisted living community, is that residents have access to meaningful social contact and daily engaging activities.
Health and Safety Risks
A typical home can be full of fall hazards and other safety concerns for older adults. Poor lighting, stairs, or slippery bathrooms can lead to accidents. While measures can be put in place to mitigate these risks, it is often more cost-effective to relocate to a space designed to accommodate older adults' needs.
Home Maintenance and Upkeep
Over time, it can be challenging for older adults to maintain a larger home independently. Chores involving physical activity such as yard work, laundry, vacuuming, grocery shopping, and running errands can become stressful and burdensome.
There are plenty of factors to consider when deciding whether to age in place or relocate. Ultimately, the essential factor to consider is quality of life. While it's never easy to leave the comfort of a familiar home, many people find that moving to an assisted living community is the best option for their overall health, safety, and well-being.
At Swapping Scenes Senior Move Managers, we provide seniors with caring and compassionate move management services. We'll help you to create a clear, comprehensive plan to ensure a successful transition, no matter your decision. Contact us today to schedule a free, one-hour consultation.