Beginning where we are
The concept of aging in place is that the occupants of a home – single person, couple, extended or multi-generational family, related to each other, or unrelated individuals – remain in the home they are in over the long haul. There is no requirement for how long ago that home needs to have been acquired – yesterday, last week, a year ago, or a decade or longer in the past. It’s just that people don’t need to go shopping for their forever or permanent home because quite likely they already have it.
We all are aging in place anyway no matter where we are living. The basic concept is choice and independence. Are people choosing – consciously or by default – to remain in their current home and can they maintain or retain their independence there? With many types of senior housing facilities, for instance, people are choosing to leave their long-term homes and give up aging in place independently in exchange for security and care.
A change is not required
It’s typical throughout life that we make various changes and adjustments to what we are doing. We acquire new hobbies and friends. Sometimes we change jobs or take on new responsibilities. Our tastes in music and literature can change or evolve. Clothing that appealed to us in our twenties doesn’t seem as appropriate a couple or more decades later. We might change the sports teams that we follow, but the players on those teams certainly come and go.
Many things about our lives change over time. Our abilities and our likes and dislikes are subject to change. Where we live does not have to be one of those things that change, however. We might want to modernize or improve certain aspects of our home, but the location and basic styling of our home we like and want to retain.
A change not involving a move
We can change our homes without changing where we live. We can update, modernize, install safety components, and generally make our homes more comfortable and enjoyable to occupy. We can reinvent the homes we have and continue to live in them.
Classic aging in place means occupying the same home over time, but there is no requirement that the home itself not be able to change or have improvements added to accommodate a person’s evolving needs. It might even need to allow for a caregiver to live there.
We can help people to improve their existing homes – sometimes with a very modest expenditure and sometimes with a more extensive budget – to meet their needs and allow them to continue living in their home of choice.