Seniors want to age at home, more are making it a reality

It’s been known that most seniors want to stay at home as they age, about 94 percent, according to research from Home Instead, Inc. But, what it means to age in place is changing. One in four older adults plan to move to a new home to age in place.

To help seniors make plans for where to age, Home Instead Senior Care is introducing new resources to navigate options and select what “home” means for individuals.

“We know how important it is for older adults to feel a sense of independence as they age, and for many, that comes from being able to stay in the same home where they raised children and created a lifetime of memories,” explains Stephanie Niles, owner of the Victoria Home Instead Senior Care. “But, we are also seeing a growing number of seniors who still seek a sense of independence by actively choosing a new home to live in as they age. Whatever their wishes, we want to help them feel empowered in that decision and provide the resources to help make a plan.”

The decision for some seniors to seek a new home as they age is a practical one, with the top desired features including single floor living (85 percent) and easy (84 percent) or low cost of maintenance (83 percent). For those who want to continue to age in their current homes, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) have also given thought to age-friendly modifications, such as adding grab bars to bathrooms or other safety measures.

While many older adults have given thought to how they will age in place – and know they want to stay at home in some way – many still have work to do when it comes to finalizing plans. Just one in four seniors surveyed report having specific plans for where they will live as they become older.

“There are so many factors to consider when having conversations about not only where you may want to live as you age, but also what makes sense,” says Niles. “Those topics include not only the physical space, such as safety precautions in the actual dwelling, but the emotional elements such as memories, companionship and sense of community. We want to help seniors think through both of those aspects and determine what fits their needs and how to make sure their choice fulfills each area.”

For most older adults who desire to stay in their homes – either a current or new home – some seek assistance to make it possible. A professional caregiver can help address the physical demands of aging, such as personal care or Alzheimer’s care, as well as the emotional aspects, like companionship.

Whether seniors age in their current home, downsize, move to a senior living community or choose to live with relatives, the goal of the Home Your Own Way program is to help them make an active and informed choice in where to live as they age.