Aging in place is a living arrangement that many older adults are implementing for themselves. Aging in place is the act of staying in your current home as you age. Having a strong support system, having access to services you may require and being in relatively good health are three important considerations for those who want to age in place. Should you age in place in Michigan? There are many questions to consider before you can come up with an answer that makes sense.

The phrase “aging in place” means an individual has decided to grow older in their own home. They don’t want to move into assisted living, senior apartments in Michigan or a long-term care facility.

Seniors who experience the largest rates of success with this lifestyle are those who are:

  1. Healthy enough to live independently
  2. Surrounded by a strong support system
  3. Able to afford potential modifications to the current home to suit their needs as they age

One of the main reasons cited by older adults for wanting to age in place is that they don’t want to lose their independence. If you have the financial means and support system for this lifestyle, we have tips to help you make an informed decision.

Should you age in place?

Aging in place may sound ideal, but you should have a frank talk with your significant other and your family to determine whether it is the best choice for you. Aging in place isn’t quite as romantic a notion – or as easy – as it sounds, and it may not be a viable option for you.

It’s more difficult to age in place as you get older and your health declines. If you’re living alone, the isolation of aging in place is unhealthy both emotionally and physically.

Here are questions to consider before making the aging in place decision:

  1. Do you have family or other support systems nearby?
  2. If you need transportation to a doctor’s visit or the grocery store, can you still drive? If not, how will you get where you need to go?
  3. Is your house a candidate for an aging-in-place remodel? A ranch home that has bedrooms and bathrooms on the first floor is a more viable option for a senior than a home with several stories, no bedroom or bathroom on the first floor and stairs to navigate. How easy is it to get into the house? These are issues that a contractor experienced in aging-in-place remodeling projects can help you find answers to.

Are there any advantages to aging in place? Yes, and here are a few:

  1. It may cost you less money to stay in your home than it would to move into assisted living or other senior housing. Unless you have an idea of what it might cost you for a remodel of your current home to make it age-in-place-friendly, it is difficult to compare the costs of aging in place to a move into senior living at Baldwin House.
  2. You’ll be independent. Independence may come with risks as you age and your health declines. When you live at Baldwin House you’ll find it offers your family peace of mind and gives seniors who call Baldwin House home the freedom to live their very best lives.
  3. Comfort in the familiar. Moving is stressful, especially if it is a move you don’t want to make or feel you don’t need to make. Relocation stress syndrome is prevalent in older adults who have health problems or complicated medical conditions, but even healthy older adults can suffer relocation stress; it is not something to take lightly.
  4. When you move into Baldwin House senior living in Michigan, you have opportunities to make friends, interact with others who might have your same interests, have access to healthy meals and live in a maintenance-free setting.

What are the challenges faced by those who decide to age in place?

  1. Upkeep and maintenance on the home could potentially increase as the house ages.
  2. The cost of potentially expensive renovations to the home to make it safe and senior-friendly could be prohibitive. These projects could include both major renovations and/or small projects like installing grab bars in the shower or hallways or installing an elevated toilet.
  3. How quickly could a medical professional, family member or friend reach you if you suffered a health emergency?
  4. Are you (and your family) certain you’re healthy enough to do simple healthcare tasks like shower and take your medications?
  5. If a cognitive decline occurs and you don’t have a strong support system, would anyone notice if your personal hygiene and housekeeping skills were being impacted?
  6. As mentioned, if you don’t have a strong support system, aging in place may be risky for you. That being said, simply having friends and family isn’t enough; you need to know they will check on you often – a few times a week. Will they have time to help cook your meals or clean your home if you no longer can? Do your visitors stay long enough for you to feel you’re not isolated?
  7. Consider hiring an in-home caregiver or a companion. This is a great option for older adults who don’t have friends or family nearby. Make certain your insurance will cover the cost before you make the commitment.
  8. How comfortable are you with technology? If you can easily hop online and make appointments, arrange transportation or participate in family zoom calls you are ahead of the curve for aging in place. There are also many smart home devices that can assist with turning on the lights or the television or even read books to you, and these may help you successfully stay in your home. These devices can also be linked to a device your friend or a family member has and that’s a way for you to stay in touch, easily, with one another.

We have residents who started out aging in place but who discovered they missed access to social activities, healthy meals and the ability to make friends who feel like family and experience happiness on a daily basis

Visit a Baldwin House Senior Living community near you and ask what activities we have planned for our residents as we welcome summer together. Baldwin House Senior Living, brought to you by the same people who founded American House Senior Living communities in 1979, is built upon the strong foundation of guiding families and empowering seniors.

Baldwin House combines care with compassion and dignity. We offer families peace of mind and give seniors who call Baldwin House home the freedom to live their very best lives. Call us today to schedule a visit. We’d love to meet you or your loved one!