More and more North American seniors are choosing to age in place. Some are aging in place out of necessity and some because it just seems like the best option. Senior retirement living and the 3 keys to aging in place is very doable for many seniors who want to give it a go.
With more and more baby-boomers reaching retirement age, the retirement home business is booming.
Assisted living and independent living retirement facilities are becoming more and more in demand and of course, the demand means the prices are going up. For many seniors, the only option they have is to age in place.
This, of course, leads to the need for caregivers who often do the best they can under enormous amounts of emotional, physical, and mental stress. Sometimes it gets to the point where they just have to get away from it all.
THE WORLD IS GETTING OLDER
According to Statistics Canada, in 2015 12.5% of seniors were living in poverty and that number has been growing year over year. As a matter of fact, the number of Canadian citizens over 65 is expected to double by 2036.
If you consider that workplace pension plans across the country continue to shrink, many seniors are left relying on government pensions in order to survive day-to-day.
For an in-depth look at the problem read Seniors and Poverty-Canada’s Next Crisis?
It even more critical in the United States simply because they have a much larger population than Canada. According to the National Council on Aging, over 25 million Americans 60 and older are economically challenged.
They are struggling with the rise in housing and health care bills, poor nutrition, lack of transportation, lack of savings, and in some cases, loss of their jobs.
Look further into this problem by reading this article by the National Aging Council.
Of course, many of these seniors in both Canada and the United States have no option other than aging in place. It becomes a money issue and much depends on what sort of government assistance they can get.
For seniors who have no choice but to retire in their own homes and are struggling financially, there is an interesting option they might consider. What if they were to share their home with like-minded seniors? This would provide safety in numbers, ease the financial burden, and avoid falling victim to debilitating loneliness.
CHOOSING TO AGE IN PLACE
There is no doubt that many seniors are living below the poverty line in North America. That being said, there are a good number of seniors who have the financial wherewithal to pay for a retirement facility of some sort. Yet they choose to age in place and spend as many of their golden years as possible in the family home.
This makes perfect sense. Why would you not want to spend your retirement years in your own home? You are familiar with every nook and cranny and better yet, the memories that seniors have of raising a family in that same home are irreplaceable.
It also makes it easier to have friends and family to come and visit. However, there are some pitfalls that must be carefully considered.
There are three main areas it’s important to consider when a senior decides their senior retirement living is going to take place in their own home.
It might not be a safety issue at first, but as seniors age, any number of things can happen to throw a wrench into the works. They may develop mobility, vision, or hearing issues that make living on their own a little more difficult.
It’s necessary to have access to health care and some sort of social structure in order to live in safety in your own home or community.
Then, of course, there will come a time when the help of a family caregiver might be necessary. Failing that, hiring an in-home caregiver is another possible option.
It’s crucial to have some sort of security system in place in the event of a medical incident taking place when the senior is alone. This is especially important if the senior has dementia or/and mobility issues.
MEDICAL ALERT is one such system and has been instrumental in coming to the aid of seniors in distress. Seniors and their caregivers should not underestimate the importance of these services. It provides them both with peace of mind.
IAMFINE is also an excellent option. They will call a senior each and every day at a designated time. If after several attempts they get no response from the senior, they will contact a pre-designated friend, neighbor, or caregiver. This is simply a great idea that is not overly expensive. You can even try them out for 14 days to see if you like it.
This is the most important key of all. What’s the point of making the decision to age in place if you are simply not happy? The whole idea and reason for making this choice in the first place are because it provides you a much better setting in which to spend your golden years.
Just the echoes of the past are worth making the aging in place decision a worthy idea worth considering. In their mind’s eye, a senior will remember the laughter of their children as they caroused through the house.
They will remember all the puppy love heartbreak, birthday parties, and special family holidays that were filled with love, laughter, and happiness.
If you take that same senior and put the in an independent or assisted living facility, these memories might just fade away to be lost forever.
There is indeed something very special about living within the four walls where families grew and lived together over the years.
Of all the retirement options available, perhaps aging in place is the one that makes the most sense. It’s an excellent choice for those who are in good mental and physical health.
It may be challenging for some seniors who deal with any number of mental and physical disabilities and have to age in place out of necessity. They simply can’t afford any of the other options available, or perhaps are unable to get sufficient government funding.
This can change the whole dynamic of aging in place. Perhaps they are dealing with Alzheimer’s or Dementia and finding caregivers becomes an ongoing issue.
Even if there are some roadblocks that make aging in place difficult for some seniors, it still might be the best option of all.
Much will depend on each individual case and the availability of family caregivers who can help with everyday tasks that can be difficult for some seniors to deal with.
Would you like to share your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.