There’s No Place Like Home – Especially for Seniors

It’s true for all of us, isn’t it?  There really is no place like home.  For most of us, it’s the place where we feel the most comfortable, the place where we feel we belong.  That’s especially true as we get older.  

About 90% of seniors want to “age in place” – to grow old in their existing home.  But half are concerned about the ability to do so due to health problems, memory problems and the ability to get around (drive, steps in the home, etc.).  Most seniors feel pretty strongly about remaining as independent as possible for as long as possible.  Because of this, there is a significant emotional side of transitioning a senior to a different living situation.  

Interestingly enough, it’s not just aging parents that have these concerns – their families share similar views.  94% of Baby Boomers say it’s important to them for their parents to age in place.  Of those, 79% are concerned about their parents’ ability to do so with 60% being VERY concerned. This concern is largely because of the health of their aging parent.  Boomers express fear that their parents might fall or injure themselves in their home.  And with many Boomers – over 60% - being actively involved in providing assistance for their parents, aging in place is not just about the elderly.  

The good news is that this research tells us that seniors and family members are on common ground and have common goals about these late-in-life situations.  It can provide peace of mind for everyone to get this out in the open. Talk to your aging parent and let them know you want to understand how they feel about the situation.  Determine if there are immediate changes that need to be made to their existing home to make it safer.  Discuss possible long term plans so that parents can voice their wants and needs.  It’s a good idea to have these discussions while parents are still healthy.  If you wait until a crisis occurs, you may have to make quick decisions – some that bring unexpected emotional and financial challenges.  

Click here for helpful resources for seniors and caregivers. 

Watch for our next blog in which we discuss the reasons seniors move out of their home.