“As People Begin Settling Into Their Long-Term Homes, They May Want To Age In Place On Their Own Terms”

As people go through life, they have thousands of experiences – some pleasant and easy to handle, some difficult and inconvenient. The happy ones are quite enjoyable and all too fleeting for most of us. The unpleasant ones seem to linger and can’t get over fast enough. Then, there are the hundreds of experiences that we just endure and live through – not punctuating either end of the pleasant or unpleasant scale. Hopefully, the pleasant times outweigh the unhappy ones both in terms of the number of them and the duration of them.

In general, people tend to be tolerant and adaptable – even though we may complain a lot while we are experiencing a particular issue or lash out at the issue, the company, or the people we feel are causing this tremendous inconvenience or injustice to us. We like to vent. Then we may settle into a quiet acceptance with occasional bouts of grumbling. Most of us, even when we feel we have been wronged, accept it and move on with our lives.

In the case of moving into a home or apartment (our very first one, our second one, or even our current one), we may not have liked the neighborhood character, the décor inside the home, the paint choices that came with the walls, the type of flooring, the amount of stairs, the layout, or the overall condition (it was dated or showing its age), but we chose it because of the location (close to parks, work, family, transportation, or friends) or the monthly rent or mortgage payment.

Likely, we thought we would be there just a short time so it wasn’t worth a lot of money and our time to try to do anything with it. Besides, we may not have known where to begin because it needed so much in our opinion. Essentially, we moved in and stayed for a season of our lives and aged in place during that time. We could have made some improvements to the dwelling, but for various reasons, we chose not to do anything or not very much to change what we didn’t like.

Historically, most people have been able to live in more than one home along their journey through life before getting to that permanent home – at whatever age that occurs. However, some people are fortunate to find their forever home at a relatively early age. In fact, the latest trend is for younger people (Millennials especially) to skip the starter and move-up homes and going right for that forever home. Of course, they very likely will have taken their time to get as close to what they feel is necessary for their long-term happiness and comfort in their initial purchase.

For people who have moved a couple of times throughout their lives before getting to their forever homes, they had the opportunity to learn or discover what features or general characteristics they liked in a home and would be sure to look for or include in any future dwelling, which were not that important to them and really did not need to be present in any future home, which features they would definitely not want or prefer not to include in a future home if they weren’t already present in that home, and areas or rooms of the home which were both important and necessary to have and less important or unnecessary for them. Such educational experiences could be quite helpful in selecting their forever or permanent home.

Consider this, however. What about the people that had a wish list but settled for something a little less than what they were looking for because they needed something rather quickly, the neighborhood otherwise was attractive and pleasant for them, the price was quite to their liking, and they thought that they could always do something later to the home if it really got to the point that it was an issue for them?

Some people have moved into a home that will serve as their final home, but it may not be up to our standards as to what we think it should have for the comfort, enjoyment, convenience, and mobility. Still, it’s their home, and we can’t force ourselves upon them. They may need time to warm to the idea that improvements can be made and that they can afford some of them. Some people may never come to this realization. Instead, they may prefer to roll with whatever their home has given them and age in place without any fuss. Others will embrace our help when they realize that we can be of service to them.

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