Every day we see studies pointing to the great majority of folks who want to stay in their homes as they age. Yes, as I have pointed out before, assisted living can be great for some people, especially those for whom the social components are important. But for most of us, by far, aging in place is literally where it’s at.
An article from Jane Bennett Clark, senior editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, makes that point very clearly:
Almost 90% of people over 65 want to live in their home and community as long as possible, according to a report by the AARP Public Policy Institute and the National Conference of State Legislatures. A whopping 80% believe they will stay in their home until they die. For some, friends and a familiar setting are the main draw, and for others, it’s an emotional attachment to the house, says Jeffrey Lubell, of the Center for Housing Policy. “This is their home, and you’re going to have to pry them out with a can opener.”
One very important point in this whole discussion is that what most people want is also what is good for our society, as a whole:
“To society, it costs a lot less for someone to age in their home than to go into a care facility,” says Marty Bell, of the National Aging in Place Council.
Still, it is not always an easy situation, when elders need help to age in place. As Ms. Clark points out,
So far, community-based programs that bring services to seniors are available mostly in cities and suburbs, and they’re scattershot at that. Still, expect to see more coming along as baby-boomers march into old age. “There’s a shift from being institution-centric to person-family-community-centric,” says Larry Minnix, of LeadingAge, a consortium of aging-services groups. “It’s a good thing but a whole new era.”
What is ironic to folks like those of us at Support For Home, who provide care to seniors who want to stay at home, the government not only will not pay for it, via Medicare (nor will private medical insurance companies), but the government at both the federal and state levels (at least in California) are doing their “best” to make it much more expensive for elders who need help at home to get it. Sad but true.
Best wishes. Bert