OMAHA, Neb., March 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Studies over the last several decades have shown that seniors have an overwhelming desire to age in their own homes. In fact, more recent research from Home Instead, Inc. affirms this number is still as high as 94 percent.1 However, new data shows seniors are redefining what it means to age in place, with one in four planning to move to a new home to accommodate changing needs that come with aging.
"While this may seem contradictory, what we see is validation that seniors are taking more ownership of their aging experiences," noted Home Instead Gerontologist Lakelyn Hogan. "A growing number of older adults no longer see aging in place as having to stay in the same home where they've lived for decades and perhaps even raised their family," she said.
Not only are more older adults electing to move to new homes, they have given more thought to changing needs than those who intend to stay in their current homes. Of those who want to age in a new home, 85 percent have taken time to consider the age-friendly features they will want in a new home, while only 64 percent of those wishing to remain in their current homes have thought about age-friendly modifications they will need to make.
Seniors who want to move to new homes to age in place are also prepared to invest more to accommodate aging. Those interested in investing in new homes expect to pay approximately $22,000 to ensure it has desired features. In contrast, those who want to stay in their current homes feel they should plan to pay approximately $10,000 to make their homes age-friendly.
"While the thought of remodeling might seem daunting and expensive, many fixes are affordable," said Dan Bawden, founder of the national Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) program for the National Association of Home Builders. "Modifications to update doors and lighting and install safety features can be done for a fraction of the cost of an entire remodel."
Although many seniors have given thought to wanting to age at home, there is still much to be done in the ways of making it a reality. Seventy-nine percent of older adults have given at least some thought to the necessary steps to enable them to live in their own homes while they age, but nearly half of all seniors have taken no action to ensure that they will be able to stay at home, such as modifying their homes and asking family and friends for help around the house. In fact, only 37 percent have definite plans to modify their lifestyle to enable aging in place.
Whether they want to stay home or move home, being able to age in the home of their choosing is extremely meaningful and deeply personal – with more than half of seniors (54 percent) saying they would be heartbroken if they could no longer live at home. And loneliness is a concern for aging seniors. Two-thirds of seniors (67 percent) believe that loneliness or isolation impacts their decision in some way on where to live while aging.
With this new data, Home Instead is introducing Home Your Own WaySM, focused on providing free resources and information to help older adults and families identify their desired and realistic plans for aging in place, and determine how to make it happen.
Regardless of whether a senior chooses to stay in their current home or relocate to a new one, aging in place remains a top request to maintain the freedom and independence that comes from defining what "home" means to them.
To learn more about Home Your Own Way and empowered aging in place, visit www.HomeYourOwnWay.com, contact your local Home Instead Senior Care office or visit www.homeinstead.com for details on how seniors may navigate this important life decision.
ABOUT HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE
Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise network provides personalized care, support and education to enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today, the network is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,200 independently owned and operated franchises that provide more than 70 million hours of care annually throughout the United States and 11 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 80,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. Home Instead Senior Care franchise owners partner with clients and their family members to help meet varied individual needs. Services span the care continuum – from providing personal care to specialized Alzheimer's care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources.
1Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network, fielded an online survey of 1,000 North American homeowners ages 55-75. Of these 1,000 respondents, 899 live in the United States and 101 live in Canada. Sampling was conducted to balance age, gender and geographic region. The survey was fielded between Nov. 21-30, 2018.