Posted on Dec 30, 2020, 7 a.m.
As the years go by, more and more adults are opting to age in place than to move to a nursing home. According to a survey by the American Association of Retired Persons, 76% of Americans above the age of 50 want to remain in their current residence. This is especially the case for older adults with close-knit communities, as they’re a source of support and engagement. The decision to age in place comes with its fair share of complications and necessary adjustments, but it also has many upsides. If you’re a retiree thinking of aging in place, read on, because we’ll be laying down five benefits that come with it.
1. Greater Independence
Many nursing homes have their elderly patrons follow a specific schedule, but this isn’t the case for those aging in place. Seniors living at home have more freedom to live their lives. Although you may sometimes require assistance with everyday tasks, you’ll have more control over your routines, activities, and decisions. This kind of independence does wonders for your physical and mental health.
Nursing homes bring together a large group of people under one roof. Staff also come in and out of these facilities to clean the facility, help with meals, medications, exercise, activities, events, and assist with the residents. These factors could pose health and safety concerns for some seniors, as it may cause the spread of viruses or infectious diseases. Your home, in contrast, may be much safer for some people, with fewer people coming in and out. Of course, it’s going to need a few modifications to become more age-friendly. You'll need to widen hallways, install slip-proof floors, and purchase more powerful lights for starters. But, overall, it’s less likely to pose the extra health risks for some people.
3. Familiar and Comfortable Setting
Apart from being a safer choice for some people, your home may also be a more comfortable choice. You’ve likely already established a routine and are familiar with your home’s layout. This makes it easier to plan your days and move around. So, instead of having to adapt to entirely new living arrangements, you can enjoy the comforts you’ve already grown used to.
4. Flexibility and Costs
Aging in place may also be more cost-effective for some. Put simply, it might be easier for some to make a home more age-friendly than to arrange everything needed for moving into a nursing home. If you need an on-call nurse or professional medical services, consider home care services. In recent years, the field has seen many start their own home care business — from simple services like meal preparation, home assistance, and general companionship, to more advanced certified medical services that can help you manage your conditions in your very own home. Indeed, the home care industry is expected to grow by around 3.8% this year. Of course, opting for home care services is entirely optional, and depends on your needs. But this freedom to choose when and who cares for you shows just how flexible aging in place can be.
5. Closer Proximity to Friends and Family
Finally, aging in place keeps you closer to your social circle. It may be easier for you to go out with your adult children, take your grandkids on play dates, or bond with other friends. This is important, because being closer to loved ones can help reduce stress, which is one way to curb the adverse effects of aging. Staying connected to loved ones has proven to be a healthy endeavor, as it boosts your mood, improves your mental health, and increases longevity.
It’s important for you to age in a place where you’re happy, healthy, and comfortable. So, make sure to sit down with your family and discuss where you think it would be best to live your golden years. If aging in place seems like the best option, start talking about the necessary home modifications and potential costs. Planning these things in advance makes it easier to adjust to whatever changes come your way.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.
This article was written by Julie Borden.
Author Bio: As someone who grew up a tad bit more sickly than the rest of her peers, Julie made it her life's mission to read up on as many health articles as possible and learn how to lead a healthier lifestyle. Now that she's done with her undergraduate studies, Julie is looking forward to taking online classes that will further hone her writing skills and enable her to share her knowledge better.
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