Aging in Place
You can't get a group of Baby Boomers together for very long without someone bringing up the subject of housing -- as in how and where will they live as they grow older. Either you are being told about a neighbor or friend who is moving to an adult community; buying a patio or carriage home* or considering moving closer to their grandchildren.
But aging in place -- staying where you are right now, is an attractive option to many and according to some surveys, exactly what most Boomers want to do.
A recent Associated Press poll revealed that Boomers want to stay in their homes, to age in place. The poll, taken in October of last year, "reported that 52 percent of Baby Boomers said they did not think it likely they would move someplace else in retirement," according to an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. In an earlier AP poll, "89 percent of those aged 50 and older said they would rather remain in their home indefinitely as they age."
This sounds like it makes a lot of sense and many organizations are working to implement creative programs to help older adults stay at home. These residents will absolutely need services to help them remain in their current home: rides to doctor's appointments; delivery of meals or groceries; someone to come and fix small repairs or to "check" on residents during inclement or serious weather conditions. These services will have to already be in place to accommodate those who want to stay at home, rather than make the move to assisted living where all of these aspects of daily living are taken care of. It's also nice if there are family members close by to help these adults out once in a while, but in today's world, that's not always possible.
This way of thinking seems to be a change from days gone by when retirees often moved to warmer climes to avoid winter weather. Today, many still stay in their original homes and rent places in the sun for the winter months, returning home when the weather clears up.
There's a lot to be said about aging in place, and over the course of this year, I will try to scope out the newest ideas and services to give you as much information as you need when it comes time to make a decision. Move or stay in your home? It's nice to have a choice.
*Wikipedia: A patio home is an American term for a type of housing, also called a cluster home. The term tends to imply a suburban setting and a unit of several houses attached to each other, typically with shared walls between units, and with exterior maintenance and landscaping provided through an association fee. Not all of these elements are present in all buildings called patio homes, as the term is used somewhat generically by the real estate industry. These types of home can also be called carriage homes, villas, or garden homes.