Aging in Place

Aging in Place refers to the ability to live in one's own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level. 

Benefits and Problems Solved

Preference: 90 percent of adults over the age of 65 would prefer to stay in a current residence as they age. One-third of American households are home to one or more residents 60 years of age or older. 

Benefits of Independence:  Independent living routines support motor and cognitive skills. Costs can be lower than moving to skilled care facilities. 

Benefits for the Entire Community: While associated with support for the elderly, accessible community design that includes transportation, housing variety, services and daily uses nearby benefits all age groups including children, 

Tips & Techniques

Housing Modifications: Modifications run from simple adjustments (handle bars) to renovation for Universal Design to accommodate wheelchairs and rooms for live-in caregivers. Universal design plans support all people with or without functional limitations.

Community Design for Independence: Naturally-Occurring Retirement Communities (NORC) describe land use and program arrangements for recreational activities, health , education and social services for the community. This can include child care and schools so families can remain in one place over time.

Technology for Independent Living:  There are 4 categories of technology: Communication (daily engagement), Communication (urgent care & alerts), Health & Wellness, Learning & Teaching and Safety,

Support Programs:  A growing number of government, private and volunteer organizations can help with daily activities, social groups, errands, food, and monitoring. Co-housing and shared housing are also support options. 

Hot Buttons: Elderly residents may see aging in place as a given even after they can no longer live without skilled care. At some point cost savings can become increased costs for residents unable to manage daily life and property, Local governments may not have resources needed to expand programs to a growing elderly population. 

Examples & Resources

 AARP Livability Index and AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities -   determine whether your community meets the needs of all ages. 

Purposeful Aging: Los Angeles - City program for aging in place

Volunteer and local Fee-for-Service Organizations: Good Neighbors of Park Slope (Brooklyn, NY), Beacon Hill village (Boston MA), and Mt. Vernon at Home (Mt. Vernon, VA)