Chapter 4: Aging in Place

Text Size:

Helpful Resources

Find more resources at the end of many chapters in the book.

The odds are great that your parents will want to stay in the familiar surroundings of their own home and not move anywhere. Still, there are some important barriers to seniors remaining at home. Fortunately, recent innovations have made what is called “aging in place” much easier, safer, more practical, and more enjoyable for seniors who remain at home.

Anticipate Safety Concerns and Make Improvements

Most seniors want to stay in the home they have lived in for many years, and the odds are that their home was not built with senior compatibility in mind. However, there are many improvements that can be made in the house immediately, some very inexpensively.

Suggest to your parents that they contact a local Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS)-trained remodeler to adapt their home.

Aging in Village: Networks of Services

Before making the investment to modify a senior’s home, there are other considerations to evaluate: Is the community in which the house sits senior-friendly? Is the environment safe? Are there the basic services — groceries and pharmacy to mention just a couple. It does little good to have a perfectly adapted house without taking into consideration other factors that make the community a friendly one in which to live.

A movement that shows great promise for supporting and supplementing the adaptation of the home to the changing needs of seniors is the aging-in-village initiative.

Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities

A companion movement to the aging-in-village strategy is the naturally occurring retirement community (NORC). NORCs are sponsored by government agencies, both federal and local, and philanthropic groups. It sponsors yoga, aerobics, and dance classes, as well as shopping and entertainment excursions and trips out of town. Currently found in many U.S. communities, NORCs are expected to become more common as the population ages.

Review additional chapters of Stages of Senior Care:

Previous: Chapter 3: Plan Early and Look Beyond Today  
Next: Chapter 5: Family Care