The Monarch Blog

Is Your Home the Best Choice for Aging in Place?

Questions and Answers

Over 54 million Americans are over the age of 65, according to The Administration for Community Living. That number is only expected to grow over the next few years. With the aging population increasing in the United States, the topic of senior living has become more important than ever.

Residential care, or services received in a long-term care community, is a popular choice in the United States for older adults who need help with daily activities. While residential care is often the right choice for older adults, many are still hesitant to move into a senior living community. One of the most common concerns for older adults and their family members? The transition process of moving from place to place. This concern has led many families to instead consider aging in place.

What is Aging in Place?

Aging in place, as the name implies, is aging in one set location. It can be in either your own home or in a place like a continuing care retirement community, which offers several levels of care in one location (such as independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing care). The purpose of aging in place is to remain in one spot—even as needs change—for comfort, familiarity, and security. It is the alternative to moving from place to place as medical and personal care needs change.

What Are Some Considerations for Aging in Place at Home?

It’s natural that, as we age, we want to stay home for as long as possible. But, too often, decisions to move to assisted living happen because of an emergency. When making the decision to age in place at home, you need to consider a lot of factors, including:

  • Deciding on the level of care that you need
  • Proximity to loved ones
  • Proximity to health care providers
  • Socialization needs
  • Pricing

For homeowners debating whether or not they should age in place in their own homes, we recommend asking yourselves the following questions.

What is an Example of Aging in Place?

At Home: Many older adults want to stay in their own home during their golden years. If they require assistance with activities of daily living (dressing, bathing, etc.), they count on family caregivers or home health support services to meet their needs. Oftentimes, they need to make modifications to their home in order to make it safer to live in as their needs change.

At a Community: Some senior care communities offer various levels of care at one location. The benefits of aging in place at a senior care community are not just that evolving needs can be met, but also that residents get the benefit of regular socialization.

What Level of Care Do You Need?

Perhaps the single-most important factor to consider when deciding whether or not to age in place is the level of care you need. For example, someone who has Alzheimer’s disease will naturally need more assistance to stay safe than someone who does not have this condition. In some cases, a high level of care means that someone cannot safely age in place at home and will require the attention of 24/7 caregivers and other staff members at a long-term care community.

Even if you need no assistance in your daily life now, consider what will happen if an emergency occurs and your needs suddenly change. Will your home be safe for you to continue living alone? Do you have access to people who can help you on a daily basis (either paid health care providers or family caregivers)? Preparing for the future is critical to ensuring your safety and giving your loved ones peace of mind that you will be okay, even if your needs change.

If you do not think that you can safely age in place at home when your needs change, it might be better to find a senior care community where you can age in place instead.

Do You Need Home Modifications to Stay Safe?

Making the home safer for older adults can prove to be costly. Installing grab bars, ramps, emergency alert systems, stairlifts, and more in your current home can cost thousands of dollars, not all of which may be covered by insurance. If you need to make pricey home modifications to keep yourself safe, it might be cheaper (and much less of a hassle) to move into an assisted living community that is already designed with your safety in mind.

How Close Are You to Help?

Even the best laid plans can go awry. When emergencies strike, you want to be close to help, whether that help be in the form of loved ones or health care providers. If no help is nearby, moving into a senior care community may help you stay safer while you age in place.

Do You Want to Socialize with Others?

Older people are at a greater risk of social isolation than younger adults. When considering whether or not to age in place at home or in a community, make sure you consider not just your physical well-being, but your mental and emotional health as well.

In-home care services may help you physically age well in your home, but they might not help you get the socialization you need to thrive. For a higher quality of life, moving in a community full of other seniors is the right choice for many aging adults.

How Much Does It Cost to Age in Place?

Many people assume that staying at home is more affordable than moving into a senior living community, but that isn’t always the case! In fact, according to Genworth’s “Cost of Care Survey,” the 2022 national monthly median cost of homemaker services and home health aides in the United States is $5,106 and $5,302, respectively. Comparatively, the cost of an assisted senior living facility is only $4,635/month.

Is Aging in Place a Good Idea?

There is no cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Instead, you and your family members need to have an honest discussion of what your needs are now (and what they could be in the future) and what resources you have to meet those needs.

Aging in place at home works for some people, but not everyone. For many people, aging in place at a senior care community is the right choice for the following reasons:

  • Socialization is much easier in a community setting
  • Assisted living costs can be lower than many in-home care services
  • Consistency in staffing and care can be a great comfort
  • Intergenerational relationships are more readily accessible in a communal setting
  • There will not be a disruption in care as needs change

Age in Place at Monarch Communities®

Monarch Communities® offer older people the ability to age in place at one location in a communal setting, as each of our locations offers various levels of care. We understand that while your needs may change as you age, your desire to make new friends, enjoy your hobbies, and feel secure remain.

Resources for Older Americans

Seniors and their loved ones can access the following geriatric care resources to get more information before making a final decision about whether or not to age in place at home or in a communal setting.

Related Posts

  • Lifestyle vs. Genetics

    Aging Well is (Almost) All Up to You There is perhaps [...]

    View Post >
  • Dealing with Caregiver Grief and Loss

    When a loved one receives a life-changing diagnosis for a condition like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, or [...]

    View Post >