As a certified "Living in Place" professional, I'm committed to helping seniors feel comfortable in their homes and ensure their space works for their needs, now and as they age. The thing is, retirement homes and assisted living facilities aren't for everyone. Some seniors prefer to stay at home, so the best we can do as interior designers is make that home accessible, healthy and safe.
We do this by applying Living in Place practices to modify the homes, so it suits their age and abilities now, but it also makes sense for them for years to come. Living in Place design involves everything from improving air quality and creating unique "hobby" rooms to altering cabinetry so that every cupboard is easy to reach.
If you're trying to persuade an elderly parent to move to an assisted living facility or retirement home and wondering, "why do seniors want to stay in their homes?" This is the blog for you, because we're diving into that exact subject and exploring the top five reasons seniors want to "live in place" (in their own home). Let's begin.
This is totally understandable. As humans, we tend to be the most relaxed in familiar environments like our homes. You know that feeling when you stay in a friend's house or a hotel for a few weeks and just can't wait for your bed and comfortable home surroundings? Seniors feel this too!
For aging adults, getting used to living somewhere completely new can be distressing for many reasons, especially if they're dealing with the memory issues that often come with old age. Not remembering where things are can cause them a lot of anxiety.
Living in Place professionals, like myself, customize and renovate seniors' homes to make sure their homes make their lives easier, not more difficult. Whether it's easy-to-grip handles, widening doorways for wheelchair accessibility, or moving their bedrooms downstairs for easier access, living in place design is often a better option for seniors than moving out.
Experts say the top three most stressful events in a person's life are moving, divorce and job loss. In fact, they say moving is even more stressful than a divorce, and when it comes to an aging adult, the stress of moving can be much higher than a younger person. The mere thought of this overwhelming process is often why they'll choose to stay at home.
It's not just the idea of getting used to living with new people in a senior living facility; it's also the physical and mental toll that packing up decades' worth of stuff can have on the senior. Sometimes, it's better for their mental and physical health to stay right where they are, safe and happy at home.
Living by their own rules is often cited as one of the top three reasons seniors prefer to stay at home. I can definitely relate to this. In assisted living facilities, staff often preschedule meal times and activities, and enforce strict visiting hours. Though this structure might suit some seniors, many prefer to have control over their daily routine.
When they're staying at home, seniors can eat on their schedule, have visitors come over whenever they want, and pretty much do what they want, when they want. They can also have pets that most senior living facilities don't allow - furry companions can be vital to mental well-being.
As we age, it becomes more challenging to do everyday things on our own, like going grocery shopping, driving, or cooking meals. Many seniors rely on a support network of friends and family to make sure they have help when they need it. Moving to an assisted living facility could mean moving further away from that essential support network.
Moving far from them can make socializing and getting help from loved ones much more difficult. There is also an element of fear that even if the assisted living facility they're moving to is close by to friends and family, they won't come to visit them as much, which is technically true given the restricting visiting hours.
Though most seniors need help from time to time, that doesn't mean they like asking for help. When they stay at home, they can still feel independent and only request the support they need, when they need it. They're often given 24/hr care seven days a week in an assisted living facility. For some seniors, this is too much when they're still capable of looking after themselves.
When you're older, and still in good physical and mental health, it can feel demoralizing having another person constantly looking after you. It can make some seniors feel somewhat useless or helpless, even though they aren't. Staying at home helps them feel more empowered, independent, and self-sufficient.
We hope this blog has helped you learn more about why seniors prefer staying at home. When it comes to living in place, there are many ways I support aging adults as they modify, upgrade and refresh their homes to make their living spaces work better for them.
From altering layouts for better accessibility to modifying bath and kitchen features to suit their specific needs and abilities, I can help them live more independently and comfortably at home. It all begins with a free introductory call.
During this call, I'll gain an understanding of you or your parent's needs now and into the future and give you an overview of how my Living in Place expertise can help you enjoy a better quality of life and more independence.
Book your call today to start planning for the future!
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