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Aging in Place Is on the Rise, but Is it for You

Posted on July 15, 2019 | by Michael Moore Jr., Herald-Tribune Media Group
 Aging in Place Is on the Rise, but Is it for You

Baby boomers, according to Trulia’s Housing Economics Research Team, are holding onto their homes at an increasing rate heading into retirement.

In a world where people are living longer thanks to an increasing population, advancements in technology, and innovations in health care, more older adults are finding themselves facing the question: “Where will I age?”

For a rising number of people, the answer is “at home.”

A 2018 national AARP survey shows that 3 out of 4 adults want to stay in their homes and communities as they grow older. But the reality of aging in place comes with a distinct set of challenges — challenges acknowledged by those who took the AARP survey, as only 59% of those who want to age in their home feel like they will be able to do so.

Michael Juceam, the owner of Right at Home, understands the desire people have to remain at home.

“Ask yourself this question: Who wants to go to a nursing home? No one raises their hand and says, ‘me, me, me!’” Juceam said.

Aging in place isn’t a new concept, according to Juceam, or even something that is all of a sudden desirable — more likely, he said, it’s something that is being discussed more often because of the advancements in services and technologies that make living at home a more viable long-term option for many seniors. Comfort, Juceam says, is a key factor in people wanting to stay in their own homes.

Cost can also be a major consideration. The average cost for a private nursing home in Florida, according to seniorliving.org, is around $108,000 per year, which is a little above the national average. A non-private facility still fetches a steep price of nearly $98,000 on average. While there can be significant costs associated with living at home, it is still a more affordable option for many older adults, especially if they have a caretaker or nearby family to help.

Family is often among the reasons people want to stay home.

Staying at home can also give people a feeling of independence, according to Juceam. It gives them a greater opportunity to be in charge of their health, their activities, and how they spend their retirement. But it’s not for everyone, and there are essential questions everyone needs to ask themselves before deciding to stay at home, Juceam says.

“Are they safe to be at home? Do they have the resources? Can they afford private duty home care or do they have other means? Are there family members or friends or neighbors that can help them? Who can supply the support services they need and are they reliable?” Juceam said.

It’s these questions, and more, we will be exploring in the coming weeks. Is aging in place for you, and if so, what can you expect? Let’s find out together.

Find more Aging in Place stories online at heraldtribune.com/aging-in-place. If there are aspects of aging in place you would like us to explore, send ideas to michael.moore@heraldtribune.com.

This story comes from Aspirations Journalism, an initiative of The Patterson Foundation and Sarasota Herald-Tribune to inform, inspire, and engage the community to take action on issues related to Age-Friendly Sarasota, Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, National Council on Aging and the Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition.


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