Dementia Expert

Aging in Place


Aging in Place is staying home, and years of research shows that most older people opt for independence and living in their own homes.

Whether to remain at home or move is likely to be one of the most difficult decisions you and your parent will make. It’s easy to feel inundated and overwhelmed. However, some conditions are beyond your control and can put your parent at risk, making it unsafe for him to continue living in his home without assistance.

  • Friends or family may no longer live close by, and your parent may suffer isolation and loneliness that can worsen confusion and memory loss.
  • The lack of nearby friends and neighbors can also put your parent at risk if he needs help.
  • Changes in the neighborhood may mean decreased access or no access to physicians, transportation, grocery stores, banks and other services your parent needs.
  • Your parent may no longer be able to afford home repairs for plumbing, painting, heat, air conditioning, etc. Houses with poor exterior upkeep and visible decay become prime targets for break-ins and vandalism.
  • Your parent’s church, synagogue, or mosque may be closing due to the neighborhood’s decreasing number of parishioners. This may deprive your parent of valued spiritual guidance and comfort.
  • Your parent may no longer be able to safely navigate the steps to a porch, an upstairs bedroom, or the basement in a multi-story home.
  • Your parent is unsafe alone because of physical or cognitive impairments and the family cannot afford in-home assistance.
  • Your parent refuses to recognize or acknowledge any risk factors that may lead to his having to involuntarily leave his home.

You need to talk to your parent about what she wants and how she sees the future. She may want to move, to be closer to the family, or to have someone always close by in case of emergency. The house may now be too big to handle, with unused rooms and a large yard.

Successful Aging in Place requires planning and action. Home modifications take time and money, and you will also need to set up a support network of family, friends and neighbors to share the load.

Check our Minor Home Modifications worksheet to assess your parent’s needs

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The information provided on this website is offered with the understanding that the authors are not engaged in rendering financial, legal, or medical advice. Readers who require such advice should not use this website as a replacement for professional counsel, but instead should seek the services of licensed financial, legal, and medical professionals.
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