Aging in Place Is Not a Fantasy

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.”

Aging in Place at Home

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


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