The face of America is changing, and this time there may be a few wrinkles in it. At one time the only option you had as an aging adult was going into the nursing home—now you have a multitude of options beyond that, including aging in place. Aging in place means being able to spend your golden years right where you are most comfortable, whether that be a house, an apartment, or even in another family member’s home. The main emphasis now is your quality of life, which means having more than one choice as you get older.
Baby Boomers especially have begun to explore this new way to live. The generation born between 1946 and 1964 is now better able to choose where it will live in its retirement, and the multitude of options can be exciting. Retirement, downsizing, aging in place, moving in with your adult children, assisted living communities…the options are pretty exciting. The one thing to remember as you learn more about aging in place is that you now have better choices than just the nursing home!
The ideal vision of aging in place is that you will have the people and the resources around you to make sure that you are living comfortably wherever you are. One option to help aging in place is to consider using one of the several medical alert systems available if you live by yourself or are often left alone. This is especially true if you or your spouse are frail—a reputable medical alert bracelet or necklace could be a lifesaver if you fall, pass out, get dizzy, or hurt yourself accidentally. There are now several different varieties of wearable alert, from a simple watch version to complete coverage for your home, car, and even while you are out and away from home. With several kinds of alerts on the market, some will be better suited for your needs than others, so be sure and check out the medical alert system reviews. These systems can give you much peace of mind if you continue to live by yourself and need occasional assistance.
Another option for seniors as the years roll on is to remodel their house to accommodate the changing physical needs of getting older. Often this means making sure a house is handicap-accessible (wider doorways), with safety features added or built in such as added lighting, grab bars or handrails, walk-in showers and tubs, and ramps if necessary. According to the 2019 Outlook and State of Interior Design from the American Society of Interior Designers, the aging population will reshape interior design over the next decade. The report states, “The traditional family household model is being replaced by more fluid, variable configurations based on lifestyle and social identity.” The growing trends that have been identified include single-occupant add-on housing, shared housing, same-sex households, and single-parent households, all of which will change the face of future household designs. As America ages, housing amenities will transform to reflect those trends.
Another growing movement and good option for some seniors is multigenerational housing. This is a household that consists of two or more adult generations, usually 25 and older, that live as one household and have a more symbiotic relationship than just being roommates. Households that include parents living with grown children, grown children moving back in with parents, and even grandparents moving in to take care of their grandchildren have been on the rise, according to Pew Research Center analysis of census data. The latest Pew study shows that nearly 64 million people were living in multigenerational housing in 2016, which is a 23 percent increase from 2009 – that’s also one in five Americans, which is a hefty slice of the demographic. This form of housing can spread the benefits across the generations if ground rules are initially laid down and the finances and responsibilities are initially laid out and agreed to. Again, this is another great way to age in place so that families can support each other both financially and physically.
Finally, the more traditional option for aging adults is simply to live in designated senior communities, age-restricted apartments or neighborhoods, independent living arrangements, or even assisted living facilities that provide services such as meals, laundry, and help with the activities of daily living if needed. These well-known choices for the elderly are still popular, and according to the latest American Housing Survey conducted by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, are also on the rise as the American population ages.
Whatever form of housing you choose as you get older, you can be sure that you are not alone. There are more than 65 million older adult households in the United States that will be faced with the same choices regarding housing as they get older. Explore the possibilities, and thrive wherever you choose to live.
Yunas Chaudhry is a super-connector with AYC Web Solutions who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, Photography, branding and networking. He frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses his efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.