What Is Aging In Place?
For most people aging in For most people aging in place means living in non-medical surroundings.
Some live in the home where they raised their families. Many choose to downsize to apartment living. Others move in with relatives or friends for companionship or financial reasons.
Here are a few reasons why seniors choose aging in place:
- Control over everyday life- not subject to facility rules and regulations
- Costs much less than assisted living facilities
- It’s comfortable and familiar- There’s no place like home
It all sounds reasonable doesn’t it?
However…Things Aren’t Always What They Seem
It’s been said that “Insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result. Let’s examine a few scenarios where choosing aging in place is questionable at best.
Alarming Scenario #1 – Illusion Of Control
Each of us desires a sense of control over our lives. No matter what role we are playing in the outside world, at home we are the king/queen of the castle.
Many elders are quick to tell you they couldn’t survive the rules of an assisted living facility. Few of them can tell you what rules they object to though. It’s doubtful any will tell you they fear losing their independence.
Isn’t it ironic that some seniors feel assisted living equals “loss of freedom”, while choosing to be confined to home?
Frightening Scenario #2 – Aging In Place Saves Money
Odds are against you if you haven’t planned to age in place ahead of time. Moving to an assisted living facility means you can skip:
- costs for repair and maintenance
- real estate taxes
- appliance repair and replacement
As some seniors age they begin to experience challenges completing daily living tasks. Perhaps arthritis or mobility issues make once simple activities seem nearly impossible.
Some elders are not having their needs met trying to save money and trying to save face.
Terrifying Scenario #3 – Aging In Place: My House Or Yours?
Many families struggle daily with this question. The senior and the caregiver may have to sacrifice some of these things to protect the status quo:
- good health
- social life/relationships
- vacation/sick time
Pride can keep us from asking for help when we need it. Elders may be embarrassed that they can no longer take care of everything themselves. Pride keeps family caregivers from admitting they don’t have it all under control.
Elders and caregivers alike stuck in a state of denial go to great lengths to keep up appearances. So much stress jeopardizes their good health. Caregivers trying to keep everything running smoothly seldom have time for a social life.
Even though the elder and the caregiver know things aren’t working right, they keep plugging along.
Aging In Place – The Sobering Conclusion
Aging in place can and does work for some families. But it takes careful planning and teamwork. If the idea of living out your golden years at home appeals to you, there’s no time like the present to start planning for it.