Does aging in place make sense?


Age in place – to stay at your current residence for your later years instead of moving to a smaller home, into an adult community, or moving to an assisted living community.  

Aging in place also means that you’ll need to keep up on the housing maintenance, lawn work, and other duties that staying in your own home requires.  

It also means that you or your loved one would stay in an environment that they know and love.  The comfort and nostalgia associated with a family home can be quite wonderful for the aging population rather than moving to a living situation that feels cold and uninviting.  

A recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS) titled Housing America’s Older Adults explained,

“Given their high home ownership rates, most older adults live in single-family homes. Of the 24 million homeowners age 65 and over, fully 80 percent lived in detached single-family units…The majority of these homes are now at least 40 years old and therefore may present maintenance challenges for their owners.”

Is this your situation?

You bought your family home approximately 40+ years ago.  You raised your children in this home, so it was important when you purchased to have a 4 bedroom colonial style in a neighborhood with excellent schools close to all the things that you needed to raise children at that time.  The neighborhood has continued to become more and more family friendly – with parks being installed, child play places popping up left and right – all those services you wish you had when your children were young.  

But today your adult children are living independently, so you don’t need all those bedrooms and you decide to convert a bedroom to a giant owner’s suite with a beautiful walk in shower.  You add pavers to your back patio and maybe even a hot tub.  This sounds wonderful.  

But do you really need the jump-a-roo around the corner?  The large lot you wanted so your kids could run around day and night has become a burden to care for.  And since your home is older you probably have other home projects that require money, time, and energy to complete.  Plus, how long will you truly enjoy these upgrades?  You are finding as you age that you need less and less space to be happy in your home.  Don’t forget you’ll still have to walk up and down the stairs and heat and cool the entire home.

Aging in place is also not as simple as upgrading your home.  You’ll have to have a long term plan to account for how you will care for your home AND YOURSELF if your health deteriorates.  Aging in place is more affordable at first, but long term it may end up costing you more than an assisted living community.  Eventually you may likely sell anyhow… with the adding issue of decreasing the number of bedrooms in your home which could detract potential buyers from even seeing the home.  

If aging in place makes sense for your family is something only you and your family can answer.  It may work out very well if you are moving towards a multi-generational living situation.  To see if that is an option you’d like to consider check out our article here.  

Aging in place vs. purchasing a home in a 55+ community vs. moving to an assisted living community is a toughy.  To help weigh your options please give us a call at 860-447-3447.