As members of the baby boomer generation reach retirement age, the U.S. is seeing a dramatic shift of economic and social ideas. There is a near universal desire by today’s seniors and baby boomers to age in place; that is, to stay in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably–regardless of age.My parents are 69 and 71. I watched them care for both of my grandmothers for many years, making modifications to their home, bringing in medical equipment, hiring in-home care assistance, and placing one of my grandmothers in a nursing home as she declined with Alzheimer’s.
Now that both of my grandmas are gone, my parents are facing their own challenges with aging and their own desires to stay at home. I recently asked my dad what he thought aging in place was; and he replied, “Aging in place is living at home, it’s being where you feel comfortable, having access to the doctors you’ve gone to for years, and the ability to stay active in your community. It’s being close to your kids and grandkids, your friends and your church, it’s living where you want to live.”
A few compelling Aging-in-Place growth statistics:
- Aging in Place is the fastest growing sector of the senior care industry. (Freedonia Group, 2012)
- Nearly 90 percent of seniors want to stay in their own homes as they age. (AARP, 2011)
- 91 percent of pre-retirees age 50 to 65 responded that they want to live in their own homes in retirement. Of that group, 49 percent want to stay in their current homes, and 38 percent want to move to new homes. (MetLife, 2010)
- The NAHB predicts that aging in place remodeling market to be $20-$25 billion. That’s about 10 percent of the $214 billion home improvement industry.
- Assistive technology for aging adults to grow from $2 billion today to more than $20 billion by 2020. (Aging in Place Technology Watch, 2012)