Aging in Place: Advantages and disadvantages of seniors continuing to live in their own Sonoma County homes

January 31, 2010
Aging in Place. Seniors Living in their Own Homes

Home Instead CAREGivers can enable seniors to stay in their own homes and live independently longer through our home care and companionship services.

Aging in place enables seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own Sonoma County homes or other primary residences, including independent living facilities. 

This is just one of many senior living options that are covered in detail in Lori and Paul Hogan’s new book:  Stages of Senior Care: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Best Decisions.

 Aging in place is an option that utilizes some or all of the following:  special housing design for seniors, the installation of safety and convenience equipment, and in home care service that enables the senior to remain at home while ensuring needs are met. 

The advantages of aging in place are many but we’ll list just a few here: 

  • Aging in Place maintains a familiar environment for the senior or elderly person so that they can continue to live in their own surroundings without making a drastic change
  • It fosters community continuity, which means the senior can continue to frequent their usual grocery store, drugstore or other places in which they are comfortable shopping and asking for help
  • It maintains valuable social networks,  often keeping contact with neighbors and friends that live nearby
  • It has a way of strengthening family and family ties
  • It promotes physical and mental well-being, just be continuing to keep the senior in a home where they often have raised their family

Aging in place can also mean that a senior or a senior couple can move into an independent living facility or other retirement community, such as retirement villages or even a government-funded NORC (naturally occuring retirement community).  

Some of the disadvantages of having an elderly loved one continue to live at home or an independent living facility are as follows: 

  • There would likely be a low to moderate investment in home equipment and home modifications.  Depending on the home and the ability for the senior(s) to easily navigate in the home, the cost of these modifications an be high depending on the extent and nature of the modifications required, particularly if ADA-compliant renovations are required.
  • The lead time for renovations may be lengthy (weeks) for determining the need, finding a contractor, and completing these home modifications, especially if the home is outside of a pre-planned senior independent living facility or village environment.
  • Without home modifications, structural barriers in the home may present challenges and contribute to falls and injuries.  Even something as simple as having too much furniture and rugs in the home can make it difficult for the senior to manage easily as they get older.
  • Seniors may be resistant to home modifications and the installation of helpful technology.  Often a senior who has lived in their home for a long time may not want to see any modifications in their home that would signify that they’re getting older and need additional help.

Aging in place is an option that is best suited for seniors who are functional on all activities of daily living (this is often abbreviated as ADL) which includes eating, bathing, toileting, dressing, maintaining continence, and transferring (getting out of a bed or chair).  So for those who require limited or no assistance in getting around their home, the prospect is good for sustained independent living and home modifications can be a rather easy and often less-expensive solution depending on their needs and whether they’re living alone or as a couple. 

When is it time to move on? 

With a few home modifications, many seniors can live in their existing homes for many years without further help.  But when it is no longer safe for them to move about easily or if they are forgetting to take medicine or go to doctors appointments, then the situation has to be re-evaluated again.  And especially if the need continual nursing or medical help. 

This transition time period is often when Home Instead Senior Care can provide senior home care and companionship services that allow the senior to live in their homes or more independent living facilities longer, before having to consider assisted living.  When a senior simply needs medication reminders, transportation, light housekeeping, checkbook balancing – or just simply needs someone to be there to play a card game or engage in conversation to prevent loneliness — then that’s a perfect situation for our CAREGivers to lend a helping hand.  

Home Instead Senior Care serves seniors across Sonoma County, including Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sebastopol, Windsor and many others.  Our offices are conveniently located in Rohnert Park and you can simply call us at 707.586.1516 for a free, no-obligation home care assessment.  Let’s work together to allow our Sonoma County seniors to remain safe and live independently in their own homes for as long as they are able.

Owner, Julie Ann Anderson

We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior that could benefit from our vast array of home care services, please call us at 707.331.1092 or email us. We accept all types of long term care insurance as payment. Best!

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6050 Commerce Blvd Suite 107 Rohnert Park, CA 94928