Why Age in Place?
Judah Schuster, LNHA
When the topic of seniors remaining in their home is brought up for discussion, theres always the question of why remain at home when you can be in a facility setting with other seniors. Therere many compelling reasons why one should age at home, regardless of level of care. Most people, if given a choice, would rather stay in the home that holds the life they have always known.
Ones surrounding is what shapes the society that we associate ourselves with, its part of our identity and cant be underestimated or even fully understood. Perhaps its a familiar tree in the yard, lifelong neighbors or the fond memories of family gatherings around the dining room table. Familiarity of ones home and neighborhood, even if memory begins to fade, is not replaceable. Even with the best intentions, its not possible for family and friends to understand certain personal significances a home may contain to a person. Especially a person who may be in declining health and whos holding on to memories and the things that theyve built their lives around, their home and neighborhood. This is a persons society, it defines their individuality and independence.
As one ages, holding onto their society and familiar setting is imperative for maximum functioning, especially if forgetfulness sets in. Being in a familiar surrounding is many times the life line for independence. Many people have long since adapted to health declines, they may have a whole routine based on where things are in their home. We all have our steady daily routine. Any deviation from that schedule throws us off for the day. As one ages, that routine becomes even more important to daily life. At home, youre in control of when you perform which activities. You decide when to have lunch, what to have for supper and when you want to go to sleep without having to conform to someone elses agenda.
With the availability of services available in the community, there are so many sophisticated ways to modify a home setting when the need becomes available. Many seniors have modified their homes to accommodate their needs in a safe and unobtrusive way. Even a small change to a home can be the defining difference as to whether someone stays in their home or goes into an unfamiliar environment.
Finally, a home is filled with irreplaceable memories. Memories are embedded in the walls of your home created by you, your spouse and family. Where else can you be surrounded with such fond memories of so many years? No facility setting, no matter how home-like they try to be, can measure up to the warmth that home-grown memories can provide.