“Be it ever so humble there is no place like home!” It’s a comforting old ditty. But, according to the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC), it’s also the wish of the vast numbers of seniors.
AMAC’s CEO, Rebecca Weber, cites a survey conducted by the American Advisors Group (AAG), that shows more than 90 percent of the 65-plus segment of the U.S. population have a strong desire to remain in their own homes rather than make a move to assisted living facilities as they age. But for many seniors aging in place is not as easy as it sounds, says Weber. The cost, health needs, transportation access and personal safety concerns can get in the way.
The Urban Institute notes that “Survey after survey has shown that older Americans overwhelmingly prefer to age in place. But aging in place may require some trade-offs. Staying in a home must be financially sustainable, but it should also maximize physical, social, and emotional well-being. Financial considerations include maintenance and repair costs and the cost of necessary safety retrofits (grab bars, lifts, ramps, etc.), as well as the general cost of living” at home.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) recently posted a comprehensive “how to” guide for aging in place. It offers answers to questions that can arise for seniors considering remaining at home in their golden years. For example, the NIA guide covers such considerations as personal care needs, including health care, day to day household chores, financial issues and companionship if you are living alone. It also provides a list of resources that can help you deal with issues, including financial issues, that may arise. The guide includes an internet link to the USAging website that offers assistance for aging folks who choose to remain in their homes rather than relocate to assisted living facilities.
For those seniors who want to stay at home, there are a variety of resources in addition to USAging they can reach out to for help. Senior News offers this list of helpmates:
• ADA (American Disabilities Act) Paratransit provides transportation for those who cannot use the fixed-route public transit system. Each state has it. If you qualify, they will give door to door service in a small bus.
• Law schools offer free legal assistance to low-income seniors. Or contact your local Area on Aging Department, they can refer you to an elder law attorney.
• BenefitsCheckUp.org: Quickly find benefit programs that could help you pay for medications, health care, food, and more. All from a reliable and trusted source.
• Seniorcare.com/directory – has created over 8000 local senior guides that offer healthcare quality ratings, senior housing options and other resources for aging Americans.
John Grimaldi contributes occasional columns for the Association of Mature American Citizens. The 2 million member AMAC is a senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. They act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today.