There are many reasons why people like to age in place and choose to remain in their current home as the years pass. Regardless of those reasons, and whether someone has one or more than one for staying put, the exciting thing is that we get to help them do this as aging in place professionals. One of the biggest single reasons for staying put as people get older is just plain inertia – people staying where they are because that is where they have been planted.
We may remember from our high school science or physics class that inertia is that state of being – action or inaction – where something 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 in the lifestyle they have come to enjoy and expect, so they continue to live there and age in place in their current home.
For some people, this is a conscious decision. They find their current home attractive, conveniently located, well-designed for their needs, and they actively choose to live where they are. They 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. They could move, but they choose not to do so. It’s not important that they find another home because the one they have meets their needs.
In this fast-paced world, there is something reassuring, stabilizing, and comforting for people about waking up in the same home every day. 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 – or of needing to eventually replace what they have because they have tired of it or think there is something better they could have.
They are content with what they have and don’t need to concern themselves with what might be or could be. They have what they need. They find their current homes fulfill their needs and see no reason to do anything differently. They might be interested in some improvements to their homes, but their by won’t be looking to exchange them for something else.
People in what we would consider the senior population have seen tremendous technological advances in their lifetime, and it’s comforting for them to have a solid residence to rely upon as an anchor in this fast-paced world. They have seen the invention of the television, the first man in space, the cell phone, the internet, the jet airplane, and so much more. They also have witnesses tragedy, gas shortages, and other events that may only be newsreel, archive, or YouTube stories to younger people.
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. Many people in their sixties were the first in their family to go to college.
All this said, it’s comforting for so many people – in light of all the serious and dramatic change they have witnessed in their lives – to have a forever home they can depend on. This is their long-term home – where things remain relatively constant.