So let’s start by looking into what we think aging in place involves.
“Beyond meaning to stay in your home for as long as you can as opposed to moving to a health facility, it still isn’t clearly defined in the minds of Americans,” Bell says. “We feel like aging in place has to be a system. What it really is, is living in your own home with a little assistance. How does an individual get that assistance? That’s the question; that’s what we’ve been focused on, trying to set up a system to deliver the assistance that seniors need to make it as easy as possible.”
The problem with the aging movement in America is that there are a multitude of people doing amazing things to find solutions, but awareness to the issue is lacking. That’s where his group steps in with having chapters across America to help individuals with in-home health care, geriatric care, elder law attorneys, financial advisors, home improvements, and so forth.
Surveys have shown that 90 percent of people would rather age in place at the comfortability of their own home.
“Everybody’s greatest fear is going into a facility where they lose their independence – a nursing home or being in the hospital, but too many people think aging in place is staying in the home you are in, which I don’t like to encourage. The home you’re in may be the right place, or there might be alternatives that are better for you while still maintaining your independence.”
Besides the apartment or home you live in now, aging in place could mean staying at a senior living facility, or moving to a house that’s more affordable than the one you live in now, or one that’s altered to accommodate unique needs.
“I don’t think it matters where you age in place – it just means that you’re someplace where you’re living independently and not in a full-time health care facility,” Bell says. “Staying in your own house is maybe overemphasized.”
The Council held a culmination of leaders in aging for a two-day session and came up with five important aspects to aging in place. They are home, personal finance, health and wellness, transportation, and social interaction and community involvement. “What aging in place encourages is not waiting for disaster to strike to find solutions, it’s planning for aging. People go to college and plan to have a career. They have children and plan to send their kids to college. A lot of times when it comes to aging, no plans have been made.
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