Aging in Place – What Is It, and Why Does It Matter for You?
Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “aging in place,” but aren’t exactly sure what it means. Ultimately, aging in place is when people who choose to remain in their own homes and communities rather than move into an assisted living, nursing home or retirement community. While many couples may choose to relocate in retirement, especially if they raised children in large homes and no longer need the space, aging in place can also mean remaining in your longtime or family home rather than downsizing.
Why does it matter? Well, in part, because it’s representative of a huge chunk of the American population. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts there will be about 71.5 million Americans over 65 years old by the year 2030. In 2000, there were about 35 million Americans over 65. As this population ages and the costs of health care continue to rise, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities, more and more people are choosing to age in place.
For people who are able, aging in place can be a wonderful way to live out their golden years among their friends and neighbors — as long as it has been carefully considered and planned for. People may need extra help as they age, so you’ll need to make sure you have access to in-home care, and the resources to finance it if needed. Careful financial preparation is key to being able to age in place. Consult a financial advisor if possible, or do careful research into the best way to budget and plan ahead for your golden years.
Aging in place also means you’ll need to take a look at your home and make sure it is designed and outfitted to suit your needs. No matter how well you take care of yourself, your body will age, and that means things like stairs, slippery floors and hard-to-reach storage areas will need to be modified. If you plan to stay in your home and know it needs some modifications, get started as soon as possible so you’re not trying to pay for remodeling projects on a fixed income. Home accessibility consultants can help you determine what you’ll need, and a design build firm like CMS can help you make those plans a reality. Some places may even offer financial help for your project.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institute on Aging both provide data and tips for handling aging in place, which can help with the planning and preparation. They also offer resources for adults who are already aging in place.
At CMS Homes, we’re here to help you make live your best life at any age. If you are interested in building a home in Lincoln County, Missouri, we can make sure we consider aging in place features as we discuss your new home!
Still have questions? We’d love to help! Contact us here.