“Aging In Place Follows Different Materialism Rules”

A comfortable home in a pleasant neighborhood that is well-maintained offers a great setting for aging in place and is capable of serving our needs for many years – even as our situations change

Our homes are not a typical possession. We obtain and handle many things over the course of our lifetime – shoes, clothing, sporting goods, automobiles, bicycles, stocks, bonds, collectibles, and places to live. We are advised by parents, brokers, and others whom we trust for their advice not to get so attached to any one item that we are afraid to move on from it.

However, an item that many of us own and get quite attached to is our home (whether we own or rent). This is not to say that we remain in the very first home we ever purchase or rent and remain there for decades. Some of us might, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

Over the course of a lifetime, a person may live in several different homes or apartments. This is a learning and growing process. As we are starting out in our 20s we may not understand what our needs are going to be long-term, how large of a living room, how much of a kitchen, or what size bedroom, bathroom, and other rooms are we going to need. Are we going to be looking for a space to do a lot of cooking or merely a place to prepare meals and eat? Are we going to be bringing in many friends from the outside to entertain and gain a name for ourselves as a great host? Are we looking for a basement or a media room where we can watch movies or bring in others to watch them with us? Are we looking for a hobby space – a garage, a backyard center, a basement, or other dedicated space where we can work on cars, restore them, do woodworking or metalworking, or maybe sculpt or paint? Do we fancy ourselves as a writer and need a home office or writing area? Are we going to be occupying our living space alone or with a partner or family?

These are all questions that may not be answerable with the very first home we get, but as we go along, our family situation, our needs, and our outlook on life change year-after-year, decade-after-decade until we come to a time when we realize that we’re happy with our selection. Our home that we have meets our essential needs in terms of size or layout (or it can be easily modified to accommodate those needs) location, and value. We may especially be fond of the location in terms of the neighborhood setting and commuting distances to our favorite activities including work and the airport.

If we adopted the opinion that we should own something for a time and then release it and move on such as we do with owning a car for a few years, getting a tremendous amount of satisfaction and dependability from it, and then go on to something newer. We may own a set of clothes for a time and then as styles and color offerings or our personal tastes change we move on. Most of us don’t have the same suit, dress, or nice outfit that we purchased a decade or more ago.

That said, we might think that we should own a home or rent an apartment for a set period of time – five to ten years, for instance – and then look to make a change. However, as we’ve gone through life testing various housing solutions for ourselves, we’ve come to realize that we have one that we like. So why should we inconvenience ourselves and go through the effort of searching and searching for something that supposedly is better that may not be and then pack up everything we own and move to another dwelling when all of this is unnecessary?

There is no requirement or social mandate that we move out of every single home we’ve ever lived in and move into another one. At some point, we will find the home that we like where we went to age in place. This might happen in our forties, fifties, sixties, or seventies. There is no set time when it has to happen or that it will happen – and for some people, it may never happen – but the majority of us want to remain in our homes. According to AARP, that number is approaching everyone wanting to do this.

Therefore, our homes are not like anything else we own where they wear out and we replace or discard them, or grow weary of them, and look for something new or more exciting to replace them. We have decided – consciously or just because we can’t consider an alternative that works – that our homes provide a general setting that we enjoy, a basic layout that works for us or can easily be adapted, and they retain all of the stuff that we have collected over the years. Most of us would rather just keep on doing things the way they are rather than making a change so we age and place in our homes because our homes are not the typical possession that we grow weary or replace on any type of a regular basis.

Share with your friend and colleagues!