Most people prefer aging in their home than going to a nursing home or even assisted living. That makes sense to me.
To learn more about “aging in place” I went to several of the many web sites with that name. Several had some very good ideas about making improvements and renovations to your existing home to make it age friendly. The idea, according to these sites, is to make improvements to your home that you have lived in for the last 15 to 30 years and just stay right where you are. These sites even feature a directory of contractors ready to make these improvements to your home. They also list the types of improvements to make your home age friendly.
However, I found out through social media that these sites were hostile to active adult communities and even any 55 plus communities. They really mean it when they say age in place. They really want you to make improvements to your existing home no matter where it is or how non age friendly it is, hopefully using their suggested contractors.
I think what this idea misses are that you can age in place in an Active Adult Community like I live in or any 55 plus community for that matter. The reasons for doing that are substantial.
Aging In Place in an Active Adult Community
To start, the home you purchase in an Active Adult Community will already have most of the age friendly features in place. My home is one level. That is a biggie. No steps. Flat entry from garage and front and back.
Most of the age friendly features have been here from day one: high counter tops in kitchen and baths, high commodes, large walk in shower with seat, levered door handles, extra insulation, hardi plank siding, windows all across the back of the home, nice sun room, and more.
Besides age friendly homes, it’s an age friendly community. If I had made improvements to my 3-level home in the suburbs the improvements still would not have been as good as the home I bought.
You can pick your location if you buy in an Active Adult Community. You can move closer to your adult children if you like. Or a different part of the country for that matter. Or a small town on the outskirts of your city. If I had stayed in my old home it still would have been in a subdivision which everyone was still working and no one was home and new families with small kids were moving in.
Active Adult Communities are age friendly communities. My neighbors I can relate to. They are retired and available for the many activities we have here. There is even a club or volunteers to help when people need help. A social support group. They are safe with friendly people, what more could you want.
Active Adult Communities have age friendly homes already and are age friendly communities as well.
They are not assisted living communities. However if your plan is to grow old at home with in home personal care and many other services available, you can do that in a retirement community as well.
So I don’t see why the “aging in place” sites are only thinking you can age in place in your existing home you have lived in for a long time. It seems to me there could be a better idea of moving to a new age friendly home in an age friendly community and getting the same in home personal care when you need it. You want need suggested contractors and months of construction going on.
Now if you need memory care or develop serious medical conditions, you may need to move to a facility to take care of you. That would be the case no matter where you lived. You can age in place even better in an Active Adult or 55 plus community home as you can in your current home needing improvements and in a neighbor that may not be the best for aging in place.