We may remember from our high school science or physics class that inertia is that state of being – action or inaction – where a body remains as it is until and unless acted upon by an outside force. In the case of aging in place, people tend to remain living where they are unless some unusual and compelling circumstance causes them to reevaluate that decision and make a change.
Even minor health or mobility issues, the loss of a loved one, or even sensory impairment does not seem to be enough to get people to act as a rule. They simply enjoy living where they are and as they do, so they continue to age in place in their current home.
For some people, this is a conscious decision. They actively choose to live where they are and have no intention of moving. For others, it’s more subtle. The idea of finding someplace else to live has never been that strong so they continue to reside in their present home. Either way, the result is the same.
In this fast-paced world, there is something reassuring and comforting for people about waking up in the same home everyday. To some it might seem humdrum or boring; however, just the opposite can be true. Knowing that people have found their forever home gives them great peace of mind and eliminates all of the stress of worrying about finding a home just a little bit better or a little newer than what they have now.
While people of any age can look back a few years and remember fondly (or perhaps not as fondly) the way things used to be or how they didn’t have all the technology they do today. For instance, in a couple of months, the 10th anniversary of the release of the iPhone will be observed. That means that a decade ago people didn’t have an iPhone. They had other types of cell phone devices. Go back another decade, and the choices were even fewer with the technology being more limited.
People in their sixties or older today have witnessed so many changes in their lifetime. They remember when there was no space exploration and then when there was. They remember ridiculous prices for gasoline, bread, milk, and other items when compared to today. They remember when new homes could be built for less than $10,000 and new cars could be purchased for less than $3,000.
They have seen so many retailers come and go. Amazon didn’t exist as they were growing up, and neither did any type of online shopping. The internet as we know it now is a fairly recent occurrence. Many people in their sixties were the first in their family to go to college.
All this said, it’s comforting for many people – in light of all the serious and dramatic change they have witnessed in their lives – to have an anchor they can depend on. This is their long-term home – where things remain relatively constant.