Aging in Place Essentials: Part 1 – Introduction
In the coming months, Staying Put at Home will be covering the foundations of Aging in Place. Here, in Part 1, we introduce Aging in Place and discuss why it is important and how to achieve it.
What is Aging in Place?
Aging in Place refers to the ability to live safely, comfortably and independently in your home as you grow older.
Why is Aging in Place Important?
You might be wondering, ‘Why should I age in place? What are the benefits?’ Successfully Aging in Place allows you to stay independent in a worry-free environment. In 2010, an AARP survey found that nearly three quarters of adults over 45 wanted to stay in their home for as long as possible.1 Maintaining your independence lets you lead the life that you want with the schedule that you enjoy. Connections with family and friends are easier to continue when you stay in your own home. You also won’t have to worry about the hassle of moving out. The comfort that comes with Aging in Place reduces stress, helping your health in the process. Aging in Place also makes financial sense. Assisted living costs an average of $3,628 per month,2 and live-in nurses can cost thousands per month. Senior care facilities can also be unsafe; up to 60 percent of nursing home residents fall each year.3 This is twice the rate of falls among older adults living outside these facilities. In addition, illnesses transfer much more easily in senior care facilities. Staying in your home might be your safest, most comfortable and most affordable option.
How Can I Age in Place?
Aging in Place is best achieved by making sure your home is safe. This might call for modifications:
- Grab bars and handrails that can help prevent falls
- Stairlifts that can help you get upstairs
- Lights that turn on automatically as you pass them
- Lever handles that are easy to use for those with arthritis
- Walk-in tubs and showers make it easier to bathe without assistance
Fall prevention is extremely important for seniors. Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. One in three seniors aged 65 and older falls each year.4 Of those who fall, 20% to 30% suffer moderate to severe injuries that make it hard for them to get around or live independently.5 Furthermore, 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, and one out of every five hip fracture patients dies within a year of their injury.6 You can take these precautions to avoid a fall:
- Exercise to sustain muscle mass and balance
- Maintain a balanced diet with plenty of Iron, Calcium and Vitamin D
- Maintain a routine sleep schedule
- Get regular vision exams to keep you up to date
- Remove clutter and rugs that could be trip hazards
- Review medications for any side effects
Keeping yourself safe is the foundation of any Aging in Place experience. We hope that the information we’ve laid out serves as a helpful introduction to this subject. Check back in at Staying Put at Home to see the rest of our series on Aging in Place:
Aging in Place Essentials
- Making Your Home Safer & More Comfortable
- How Can Aging in Place Save You Money?
- Maintaining & Modifying Your Home: Who Can Help?
- How to Make Your Bathroom Safer
- Home and Community Preferences of the 45+ Population | Return to Text
- The Cost of Assisted Living | Return to Text
- Falls in the Elderly | Return to Text
- Falls Among Older Adults: An Overview | Return to Text
- Costs of Falls Among Older Adults | Return to Text
- Hip Fractures Among Older Adults | Return to Text