Are you or a loved one considering aging in place? Discover our list of benefits of aging in place to see if this future living arrangement is best for you.
For many of us, it’s hard to imagine ever moving away from our homes. They hold treasured memories: celebrating holidays, raising a family, befriending neighbors, and more. Unsurprisingly, research shows that most seniors don’t plan on leaving their beloved homes: a 2021 survey from AARP found that “77 percent of adults 50 and older want to remain in their homes for the long term.”
While the desire to stay is indisputable, you may wonder whether staying home is actually the best option for you to age well. Fortunately, for those leaning toward staying put—or “aging in place”—recent years have seen a historic leap in the creation of aging in place resources. But what benefits might you actually gain from staying in your home through your senior years, as compared to the alternatives?
There are many advantages of aging in place—including greater peace of mind and financial flexibility. Let’s examine how.
While anyone who buys a home and stays there for a period of time can be literally “aging in place,” the phrase specifically refers to a deliberate plan to remain in one’s current home through some or all of the later years in life.
Most often, people don’t plan ahead to age in place, and end up wishing they had once aging brings physical, mental, or other changes—those whose daily impact could qualify you to live in a nursing home, assisted living community, or other facility designed for aging adults. Occupational therapists recommend that you make plans before you start having changes in your health or level of independence, when you have the time and energy to reflect and make a thoughtful decision. Think about what you want, what matters most, and what will be the best situation for you and your family.
While it’s not a black-and-white comparison, it is important to understand the differences between aging in place vs assisted living when deciding on a safe and comfortable living environment for your needs.
If you or a family member are weighing your options, it can be helpful to know just what you might gain from staying in your current home. Below, we list the top benefits you may want to consider while weighing the pros and cons of where to live.
From the water pressure to how the morning sun comes in through the curtains, you know your house inside and out. It’s been adapted to your preferences and comfort in more ways than you may realize—color, design, favorite chairs, and wall hooks where you like to hang your keys, hat, or robe.
As different parts of your lifestyle and medical needs change, being able to depend on the familiarity of the nest you’ve made can provide a feeling of safety and comfort.
Moving to a senior living facility often means a significantly higher price per square foot—so even though you'd be switching to a smaller home, you’d probably pay more for it.
While costs depend on a number of factors—community, location, and level of care needed—a 2021 survey showed median monthly residential costs as follows:
For most homeowners, even with an active mortgage, the cost of aging in place with part-time assistance is lower than senior living facility options. The average cost of renting a single family home ($1200 a month in St. Louis) is also significantly less expensive and covers home repairs, property taxes, and home insurance. Senior living monthly costs sometimes include help with daily living tasks, meal preparation, etc. so it’s important to consider your current or future home service needs while doing your cost-comparison.
Moving is high on the list of stressors for adults of any age, and facing a move into an age-based apartment or community is a significant change from a single-family home. It can include:
Aging in place allows more control, a slower pace of change, and customizable home care services—all of which can help keep stress to a minimum.
Relationships with neighbors can be an important part of your support structure and social connections. Just like changing jobs, moving can disrupt relationships that formed from proximity but provide a significant benefit to your day-to-day quality of life.
If you live close to children, grandchildren, or siblings, a move can shake up the structure of how often or how easily you see them. Some senior-living communities have restricted visiting hours, limiting your freedom to host your loved ones in your space.
Needing help while aging isn’t just about personal or nursing-level care. It can start with simple household and community services such as:
For those aging in place, before paying for home care services, some types of assistance can be covered by delivery services and gig workers for less than you’d pay a professional caregiver. Often, people aren’t aware of local resources and services available to them in their own community. You can search for your local Area Agency on Aging or use a certified Geriatric Care Manager to help you find free or reduced price services available in your community.
One of the critical benefits of aging in place is that familiar surroundings, belongings, habits and routines can help support individuals struggling with memory loss or cognitive changes. Continuing to live at home and adding services as needed is less of an adjustment than moving all together.
Avoiding sudden change and disruption to a routine, while allowing aging adults to do as much as they can for themselves is key to slowing the progression of dementia. Maintaining independence is often easier to do in one’s own home and community because people are more familiar with their own environment and established routines. In fact, a study conducted in Illinois revealed that staying connected to your social network as you age can slow the decrease of cognitive function by up to 70%.
If you think you may benefit from any of the advantages above, you may want to stay in your current home for your later years
In order to age safely at home, you’ll want to consider home modifications (like grab bars and ramps), supplemental services (like lawn maintenance and meal delivery), and eventually in-home care to facilitate independence without putting your health at risk.
While these costs are often less than the price of moving to senior-living, they can still add up. When considering how to cover aging expenses, many homeowners consider selling their home, their largest asset. Selling your home and moving, however, makes it impossible to age in your familiar home and community. Some consider taking out a loan on their home, but they’re left with debt that they eventually have to pay off. Luckily, you can fund aging-in-place costs with your home equity without having to sell your property and move away or take on debt. Truehold's Sale-Leaseback option allows you to live in your home and unlock your equity debt-free.
You continue to live at home as a renter for as long as you choose after selling your home to us at a competitive price. Truehold will take over the cost (and stress) of major repairs, covered maintenance, homeowners liability, and property tax. With your unlocked equity, you can fund home modifications, services, and care as those needs arise without having to worry about saving for major home repairs or taxes.
Ready to learn more? Contact us to connect with a Truehold Advisor and find out if we’re a good fit for your needs.
1. AARP. New AARP Survey Reveals Older Adults Want to Age in Place. https://www.aarp.org/home-family/your-home/info-2021/home-and-community-preferences-survey.html
2. Genworth. Cost of Care Survey. https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html
3. Alzheimer’s Project. The Importance of Routine and Familiarity to Persons with Dementia.
4. National Library of Medicine. Late-Life Social Activity and Cognitive Decline in Old Age. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3206295/
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