What is “Aging in Place”?

“Aging in place” is a term used to describe a person’s ability to remain in their home or community of choice for as long as possible, even as their needs for assistance and health care grow and change with age.

According to a recent AARP survey of people aged 65 and over, about 90% of seniors want to age in place.

For some, this means staying in a home they have resided in for many years. In these cases, seniors and their families must plan thoroughly -- financially and otherwise -- for the home modifications, personal assistance and health care that will become increasingly necessary over time.

Those who desire to live and remain in a community, however, will need to make sure the community itself can provide the necessary personal assistance and skilled medical care on site.

While there are some communities that have independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing all together, most independent living facilities are strictly independent. Should a person get sick or fall and require assistance, they will need to move to a different community that offers assisted living or skilled nursing, as the case may be..

There are assisted living facilities that also provide skilled nursing care while others can provide or coordinate hospice care on site.

One option that allows for aging in place is called a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), also known as a life plan community. Individuals or couples can enter a CCRC as active, independent seniors and enjoy a campus-like community which often boasts amenities such as pools, tennis courts, golf courses, libraries, lounges and multiple restaurants. Residents have a calendar of  activities and events from which to choose so they can stay engaged physically, spiritually, creatively, and intellectually. Housing at CCRCs can range from single family homes to studio apartments, all with full kitchens and appliances and where home maintenance is taken care of by the community staff. Should a resident need assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, or grooming, or medication management, they can either hire their own private personal aide  or move into the assisted living part of the community. If and when ongoing medical health care is required, they will have skilled nursing available to them as well. CCRCS offer a guarantee that residents will be taken care of as they age.

At Kithward, you can search for CCRCs or explore independent living communities that will allow you to age in place.