For most of the U.S.’s aging population, there’s no place like home. AARP’s 2021 “Home and Community Preferences Survey” found that nearly 80 percent of adults age 50 and older preferred to stay in their homes rather than move in with relatives or into senior communities. That number has been consistent for more than a decade.
The aging-in-place movement seeks to let seniors do just that. But staying put is something you’ll need to plan for, and doing so sooner rather than later ensures you’re prepared even if you remain spry until 103.
There’s a lot to do. You can remodel or retrofit your home to suit senior-specific issues like mobility or impaired eyesight (think improved lighting, wide doorways to accommodate walkers or wheelchairs). For day-to-day needs, from laundry to transportation, you can receive assistance from a so-called “elder village,” an affordable social/medical network that links seniors with volunteers. You can also take advantage of government-sponsored transit solutions like discounted bus or train passes. Eventually, you might need a home health aide. There are a range of other things that’ll help you remain at Chez You without endangering your physical or mental well-being: building up social networks and connections and taking advantage of techy tools like food-delivery apps and ride-share services.
Here’s our guide on what to do and how to get help doing it.