“Showing Our Homes Some Love As We Age In Place”

Enjoying a cup of coffee and a quiet, reflective moment with an old and familiar friend, our home, as both of us age in place and enjoy being together on the journey.

Making necessary repairs and improvements

People begin being aware of aging in place at various ages – some in their twenties or thirties, and some later in life. Some of the people who have ended up aging in place in their long-term home of choice possibly didn’t start out with that objective, but it just evolved.

Some people may be quite surprised many years later that they are in the same home as they moved into in the past. One thing led to another, and the years passed. They still had the same address and still remained living in that home. Maybe the home worked great for them over the years, or maybe it needed a few changes and updates. It could have even had some more challenging aspects to it that they chose to live with because the rest of their home worked so well for them.

Typically, people make necessary changes, repairs, and updates to their living space – their homes and rental apartments alike – as they remain in them over time. We add paint to the walls, change out faucet fixtures, replace the toilet when it needs it, add or change the amount and types of lighting, repair cracks and leaks that we notice, and perform many other types of maintenance. We largely do this with our cars as well, even though we spend less time using them on a daily basis.

What this means is that someone generally wouldn’t suddenly realize in their seventies that they had neglected their home for decades and that it had many issues that needed to be corrected and updated. Generally, items would be addressed as they are noticed – either by themselves or their children or by hiring a professional. In the case of someone who is renting their home, they would report the issues and have them addressed.

Aging in place is a gradual process

Aging in place simply means occupying the same residence for a prolonged period of time, regardless of our needs or the type of dwelling it is. Some people, as they have been aging in place have had to deal with traumatic injuries or other conditions that have impacted how they could use their home, but they adapted and made the modifications necessary to do so. Often, there were times when outside forces such as a windstorm, blizzard, plumbing, or other issues required people to make unplanned repairs to their homes.

Many of us change over the years in what we like – music, colors, furniture and appliance styling, layouts, flooring, and lighting. Of course, products and technology change also. Even though we are living in the same four walls that we moved into years ago, we are not necessarily the same person. We may expect different results from our homes.

As we adjust to what our homes provide for us and continue living in them, we may realize that we have become quite attached to our homes and cannot conceive of living anyplace else.

Showing mutual respect

Our homes, even though they are inanimate, accord us a certain amount of peace, comfort, and satisfaction – as if this was intentional. Our homes provide security from weather events and goings-on outside our living space. They us give a place to return to after being away for work or other activities – or provide a place to remain if we don’t venture outside.

We like our homes, and in turn, they meet our needs reasonably well. To the extent that they are not keeping pace with what we need, we can identify improvements and updates that will help us. Then, our homes will continue to provide for us well until the next time we feel that a modification is required.

Our homes should not be challenging us for supremacy. They serve us and our needs, and we enjoy their company – as we remain in them and continue aging in place.

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