Aging in Place: Growing Older at Home (2023)

Long-Term Care

On this page:

  • How to plan ahead to age in place
  • What support can help me age at home?
  • Common concerns about aging in place
  • Resources to help you age in place
  • How much will it cost to age in place?

The stairs are getting so hard to climb.

"Since my wife died, I just open a can of soup for dinner.

"I've lived here 40 years. No other place will seem like home.

These are common issues for older people. You may share the often-heard wish — "I want to stay in my own home!" The good news is that with the right help you might be able to do just that. Staying in your own home as you get older is called "aging in place." This article contains suggestions to help you find the help you need to continue to live independently.

How to plan ahead to age in place

Aging in Place: Growing Older at Home (1)Planning ahead is hard because you never know how your needs might change. The first step is to think about the kinds of help you might want in the near future. Maybe you live alone, so there is no one living in your home who is available to help you. Maybe you don't need help right now, but you live with a spouse or family member who does. Everyone has a different situation.

One way to begin planning is to look at any illnesses, like diabetes or emphysema, that you or your spouse might have. Talk with your doctor about how these health problems could make it hard for someone to get around or take care of him- or herself in the future. If you're a caregiver for an older adult, learn how you can get them the support they need to stay in their own home.

(Video) Aging in Place | The Ugly Truth | Aging Matters | NPT Reports

What support can help me age at home?

You can get almost any type of help you want in your home — often for a cost. You can get more information on many of the services listed here from your local Area Agency on Aging, local and state offices on aging or social services, tribal organization, or nearby senior center.

Personal care. Is bathing, washing your hair, or dressing getting harder to do? Maybe a relative or friend could help. Or, you could hire a trained aide for a short time each day.

Household chores. Do you need help with chores like housecleaning, yard work, grocery shopping, or laundry? Some grocery stores and drug stores will take your order over the phone and bring the items to your home. There are cleaning and yard services you can hire, or maybe someone you know has a housekeeper or gardener to suggest. Some housekeepers will help with laundry. Some drycleaners will pick up and deliver your clothes.

Meals. Worried that you might not be eating nutritious meals or tired of eating alone? Sometimes you could share cooking with a friend or have a potluck dinner with a group of friends. Find out if meals are served at a nearby senior center or house of worship. Eating out may give you a chance to visit with others. Is it hard for you to get out? Ask someone to bring you a healthy meal a few times a week. Meal delivery programs bring hot meals into your home; some of these programs are free or low-cost.

Money management. Do you worry about paying bills late or not at all? Are health insurance forms confusing? Maybe you can get help with these tasks. Ask a trusted relative to lend a hand. Volunteers, financial counselors, or geriatric care managers can also help. Just make sure you get the referral from a trustworthy source, like your local Area Agency on Aging. If you use a computer, you could pay your bills online. Check with your bank about this option. Some people have regular bills, like utilities and rent or mortgage, paid automatically from their checking account.

Be careful to avoid money scams. Never give your Social Security number, bank or credit card numbers, or other sensitive information to someone on the phone (unless you placed the call) or in response to an email. Always check all bills, including utility bills, for charges you do not recognize.

Even though you might not need it now, think about giving someone you trust permission to discuss your bills with creditors or your Social Security or Medicare benefits with those agencies. Learn more about legal and financial planning for older adults.

Health care. Do you forget to take your medicine? There are devices available to remind you when it is time for your next dose. Special pill boxes allow you or someone else to set out your pills for an entire week. Have you just gotten out of the hospital and still need nursing care at home for a short time? The hospital discharge planner can help you make arrangements, and Medicare might pay for a home health aide to come to your home.

If you can't remember what the doctor told you to do, try to have someone go to your doctor visits with you. Ask them to write down everything you are supposed to do or, if you are by yourself, ask the doctor to put all recommendations in writing.

Common concerns about aging in place

If staying in your home is important to you, you may still have concerns about safety, getting around, or other activities of daily life. Find suggestions below to help you think about some of these worries.

(Video) Aging In Place: Preparing Homes For Seniors

Getting around — at home and in town. Are you having trouble walking? Perhaps a walker would help. If you need more, think about getting an electric chair or scooter. These are sometimes covered by Medicare. Do you need someone to go with you to the doctor or shopping? Volunteer escort services may be available. If you are no longer driving a car, find out if there are free or low-cost public transportation and taxis in your area. Maybe a relative, friend, or neighbor would take you along when they go on errands or do yours for you. To learn about resources in your community, contact Eldercare Locator at 800-677-1116or

Finding activities and friends. Are you bored staying at home? Your local senior center offers a variety of activities. You might see friends there and meet new people too. Is it hard for you to leave your home? Maybe you would enjoy visits from someone. Volunteers are sometimes available to stop by or call once a week. They can just keep you company, or you can talk about any problems you are having. Call your local Area Agency on Aging to see if they are available near you.

Safety concerns. Are you worried about crime in your neighborhood, physical abuse, or losing money as a result of a scam? Talk to the staff at your local Area Agency on Aging. If you live alone, are you afraid of becoming sick with no one around to help? You might want to get an emergency alert system. You just push a special button that you wear, and emergency medical personnel are called. There is typically a monthly fee for this service.

Housing concerns. Would a few changes make your home easier and safer to live in? Think about things like a ramp at the front door, grab bars in the tub or shower, nonskid floors, more comfortable handles on doors or faucets, and better insulation. Sound expensive? You might be able to get help paying for these changes. Check with your local Area Agency on Aging, state housing finance agency, welfare department, community development groups, or the federal government.

Getting help during the day. Do you need care but live with someone who can't stay with you during the day? For example, maybe they work. Adult day care outside the home is sometimes available for older people who need help caring for themselves. The day care center can pick you up and bring you home. If your caretaker needs to get away overnight, there are places that provide temporary respite care.

Resources to help you age in place

Here are some resources to start with:

Reach out to people you know. Family, friends, and neighbors are the biggest source of help for many older people. Talk with those close to you about the best way to get what you need. If you are physically able, think about trading services with a friend or neighbor. One could do the grocery shopping, and the other could cook dinner, for example.

Learn about community and local government resources. Learn about the services in your community. Health care providers and social workers may have suggestions. The local Area Agency on Aging, local and state offices on aging or social services, and your tribal organization may have lists of services. If you belong to a religious group, talk with the clergy, or check with its local office about any senior services they offer.

(Video) Aging in place: How technology, other upgrades transform home into safe space for older adults

Talk to geriatric care managers. These specially trained professionals can help find resources to make your daily life easier. They will work with you to form a long-term care plan and find the services you need. Geriatric care managers can be helpful when family members live far apart. Learn more about geriatric care managers.

Look into Federal Government sources. The federal government offers many resources for seniors., from the Administration for Community Living, is a good place to start.

How much will it cost to age in place?

An important part of planning is thinking about how you are going to pay for the help you need. Some things you want may cost a lot. Others may be free. Some might be covered by Medicare or other health insurance. Some may not. Check with your insurance provider(s). It's possible that paying for a few services out of pocket could cost less than moving into an independent living, assisted living, or long-term care facility. And you will have your wish of still living on your own. Resources like and BenefitsCheckUp® can help you find out about possible benefits you might qualify for.

Are you eligible for benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)? The VA sometimes provides medical care in your home. In some areas, they offer homemaker/ home health aide services, adult day health care, and hospice. To learn more, visit, call the VA Health Care Benefits number, 877-222-8387or contact the VA medical center nearest you.

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For more information on aging in place

Eldercare Locator

(Video) Aging in Place: Multidisciplinary perspectives on growing older at home

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
877-486-2048 (TTY)


Department of Housing and Urban Development
202-708-1455 (TTY)

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
National Energy Assistance Referral Hotline (NEAR)

National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modifications

This content is provided by the NIH National Institute on Aging (NIA). NIA scientists and other experts review this content to ensure it is accurate and up to date.

(Video) Aging In Place...Growing Old At Home

Content reviewed: May 01, 2017


Which would be an example of aging in place? ›

Examples of aging in place include seniors living in their homes and receiving Meals on Wheels or living in a retirement community so that transportation isn't a concern. Aging in place is best suited for those who have good health, a strong support system and minimally maintained, fully paid off homes.

What are the tips for seniors aging in place? ›

Install grab bars near toilets and in the tub or shower. Reduce fall hazards: place no-slip strips or non-skid mats on tile and wood floors or surfaces that may get wet. Place light switches at the top and bottom of stairs and remember to turn on night lights. Install a ramp with handrails to the front door.

What is the most important aspect of aging in place? ›

What is the major aspect of aging in place? It's the feeling of being at home. Our homes provide us with a comfortable, familiar environment that is more than just a place – it's a sense of stability.

What is aging in place for dummies? ›

Simply put, aging in place means choosing to stay in your home with family, friends, and neighbors — instead of moving to a residential facility designed to support long-term care, such as an assisted living facility — as you grow older.

How do you stay in your own home as you age? ›

Here are six steps you can take to set yourself up to age in place:
  1. Complete a home safety check. ...
  2. Prioritize your health. ...
  3. Make a plan for transportation. ...
  4. Befriend technology. ...
  5. Look into long-term care insurance. ...
  6. Make a plan for care.

What are at least 6 basic needs of the elderly? ›

Let's take a look.
  • Cleaning and Home Maintenance. Living in a safe, clean, and organized environment is vital for aging seniors. ...
  • Mobility Strategies and Resources. ...
  • Personal Care Standards. ...
  • Transportation. ...
  • Medication Control. ...
  • Nutrition Assistance.
Aug 22, 2021

What do seniors need the most? ›

What Services Do Seniors Need Most?
  • Personal Care. One of the most in-demand services for seniors is personal care. ...
  • Medication Management. ...
  • Nutrition and Meal Support. ...
  • Mobility and Transportation. ...
  • Healthcare. ...
  • Money Management. ...
  • Safety and Security. ...
  • Social Interaction Opportunities.

What are the disadvantages of aging in place? ›

  • Managing a home can be difficult and dangerous: Routine home maintenance, lawn care, and domestic chores can become more difficult as our bodies age. ...
  • Strangers may routinely need to enter. ...
  • Health issues may go unnoticed. ...
  • Isolation is a serious threat.
Aug 4, 2021

What is the greatest barrier to aging in place? ›

Unaffordable, Unsafe Housing

Safe, affordable housing is among the most significant barriers to aging in place. Aging brings numerous physical and health changes that can limit mobility and accessibility around the house. But unfortunately, most family homes were not designed with the needs of older people in mind.

Do 90% of seniors want to age in place? ›

Nearly 90% of seniors want to stay in their own homes as they age, and respecting their aging in place preference is an important way to support them. Aging in place promotes life satisfaction, a positive quality of life, and self-esteem—all of which are needed to remain happy, healthy, and well into old age.

Why is aging at home important? ›

Multiple studies advertise the benefits of aging in place, such as the comfort of home, family, pets, social engagement in the community, cost-effectiveness, and the ability to maintain dignity and independence. Fortunately, experienced in-home caregivers are available to optimize the benefits of aging in place.

What are the 5 concepts of aging? ›

Aging is associated with changes in dynamic biological, physiological, environmental, psychological, behavioral, and social processes.

Why do seniors want to age in place? ›

Aging in place tends to improve seniors' quality of life, which improves their physical health. It also insulates them from the bacterial and viral risks found in senior living facilities, reducing their chance of contracting a serious illness.

What percent of seniors want to age at home? ›

According to the AARP, nearly 90 percent of adults over 65 want to remain in their current homes as they grow older.

What percentage of older adults would prefer to stay at home? ›

Aging in Place - 90 % of older adults prefer to age at home.

What is the average age people get their own house? ›

But is there a right age when these factors should be in place? And are these the factors Americans should consider when deciding to become a homeowner for the first time? In 2022, the average age of first-time homebuyers was 36, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This is up from 33 in 2021.

How can I live alone and happy in old age? ›

Loneliness in older people
  1. Smile, even if it feels hard. ...
  2. Invite friends for tea. ...
  3. Keep in touch by phone. ...
  4. Learn to love computers. ...
  5. Get involved in local community activities. ...
  6. Fill your diary. ...
  7. Get out and about. ...
  8. Help others.

Can I live alone at 70? ›

Seniors living alone is more common than many might realize, especially in the United States. According to a recent study done by the Pew Research Center, 12 million seniors over the age of 65 live alone. Reasons seniors are living alone at 70 years old and beyond vary, but tend to be due to: Choosing to age in place.

How do you manage elders at home? ›

Let's go through few tips of adult caregiving so that the main caregiver does not feel burdened:
  1. Have a support system: ...
  2. Support from far away relatives: ...
  3. Use public welfare benefits: ...
  4. Organized visits to the doctor: ...
  5. Safety against scams: ...
  6. Insurance: ...
  7. Exercise and diet: ...
  8. Community programs:
Jul 21, 2017

How do you take good care of your parents or elderly at home? ›

How to Take Care of Your Parents in Their Old Age
  1. Assess Your Parents' Needs.
  2. Make Necessary Home Safety Adjustments.
  3. Ensure Your Parents Medical, Social, Emotional, and Physical Needs Are Met.
  4. Monitor Your Parents' Health and Needs.
  5. Seek Professional In-home Care.
Nov 22, 2021

What are 5 things older adults can do to improve their self image as they age? ›

5 Things Older Adults Can Do to Improve Their Self-Esteem as They Age
  • Make Strong Social Bonds. Meaningful personal connections ground us and boost our confidence. ...
  • Practice Good Personal Hygiene. ...
  • Avoid Negative Stereotypes That Can Impact Self-Esteem. ...
  • Eat Healthy and Stay Active. ...
  • Practice Independence Whenever Possible.
Jul 7, 2021

What are 3 care needs for the elderly? ›

Seniors need personal care on a daily basis. Depending on their conditions and ability to the perform tasks, they may need assistance with bathing, dressing, and grooming. Professional caregivers can give Personal Services to help seniors with these tasks.

What are the 4 main basic needs? ›

Human beings have certain basic needs. We must have food, water, air, and shelter to survive. If any one of these basic needs is not met, then humans cannot survive. Before past explorers set off to find new lands and conquer new worlds, they had to make sure that their basic needs were met.

What are 3 conditions in the elderly? ›

Dementia, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's. Diabetes. Osteoporosis. Stroke.

What do seniors struggle with? ›

7 Common Problems to Check for and Address for Healthier Aging
  • Falls. Why: Falls are very common in older adults. ...
  • Memory concerns. Why: Memory concerns often cause anxiety for older adults and families. ...
  • Depression. ...
  • Urinary Incontinence. ...
  • Pain. ...
  • Isolation and loneliness. ...
  • Polypharmacy (Taking Multiple Medications)

What are the 7 physical needs of the elderly? ›

With the assistance of family, friends, and professional in-home caregivers, seniors can successfully pursue the following seven elements of senior wellness.
  • Proper Diet. A proper diet is the foundation of good health. ...
  • Sleep. ...
  • Physical Activity. ...
  • Socialization. ...
  • Purpose. ...
  • Safety.

What can bored seniors do? ›

10 Indoor Activities for Seniors to Help Beat Boredom
  • Explore your family tree. Try a little genealogy research. ...
  • Stretch the possibilities with yoga. ...
  • Do you enjoy board games? ...
  • Start an indoor garden. ...
  • Learn a new language. ...
  • Make yourself some jewelry. ...
  • Appoint yourself chairman (or chairwoman). ...
  • Write your life story.
Jul 28, 2020

What are the 4 main issues with an aging population? ›

  • Aging Industrialized Societies.
  • Decline in Working-Age Population.
  • Increase in Health Care Costs.
  • Increase in Dependency Ratio.
  • Changes to the Economy.

What are the disadvantages of living at home in old age? ›

Disadvantages of Aging in Place at Home
  • Health Challenges. Many obvious health challenges affect older people and make it difficult and even dangerous in some cases for them to live independently. ...
  • Cost. ...
  • Security Threats. ...
  • The Loneliness.
Jan 28, 2022

What are four problems of ageing? ›

Common conditions in older age include hearing loss, cataracts and refractive errors, back and neck pain and osteoarthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, depression and dementia.

What are the pros and cons of aging in place? ›

The Pros and Cons of “Aging in Place”
  • Pros of Aging in Place:
  • Familiarity. ...
  • Consistency. ...
  • Convenience. ...
  • Cons of Aging in Place:
  • Home maintenance and upkeep. ...
  • Loneliness and isolation. ...
  • Health and safety risks.
Apr 3, 2019

What can be the biggest challenge to the older adults? ›

What are the Biggest Challenges and Problems for Elderly People in Our Society?
  • Ageism and a lost sense of purpose. ...
  • Financial insecurity. ...
  • Difficulty with everyday tasks and mobility. ...
  • Finding the right care provision. ...
  • Access to healthcare services. ...
  • End of life preparations.
Aug 30, 2020

What are the factors influencing aging in place? ›

In previous studies, the factors affecting the continued residence of older adults in the community were identified as follows: demographic factors including sex [13], age [14–16], education level [14], financial status [17], and housing ownership and satisfaction [13,18,19]; physical and psychological health-related ...

What age is considered very elderly? ›

Typically, the elderly has been defined as the chronological age of 65 or older. People from 65 to 74 years old are usually considered early elderly, while those over 75 years old are referred to as late elderly.

What is the golden rule for elderly? ›

The First Golden Rule of Ageing Is to Take Control.

As you grow older, it becomes crucial to maintain a healthy body weight as it can inadvertently affect the functioning of the rest of the body.

How many 80 year olds will live to 90? ›

If you are an 80 year old man, your long-term odds are not great. There is a 30% chance of making it to your 90th birthday, and only about 14 in 1,000 will see 100. 70 year olds have a somewhat better prognosis.

What are the 4 types of aging? ›

That is, where in the body is the aging process most active? They found people tend to fall into one of four biological aging pathways, or ageotypes: immune, kidney, liver or metabolic. Snyder said that metabolic agers, for example, may be at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes as they grow older.

What are the 5 keys to healthy aging? ›

5 Tips for Healthy Aging
  • Stay physically active. Physical activity can provide significant health benefits to older adults. ...
  • Eat well. Eating a healthy diet is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and it is never too late to make healthy changes. ...
  • Engage your mind. ...
  • Quit unhealthy habits. ...
  • Maintain social networks.
Sep 2, 2022

What triggers decline in elderly? ›

Common risk factors associated with functional decline include history of falls, acute illness, delirium, cognitive impairment, depression, medication side effects, malnutrition, pressure ulcers, and decreased mobility secondary to incontinence.

What is an example of aging in place? ›

Examples of aging in place include seniors living in their homes and receiving Meals on Wheels or living in a retirement community so that transportation isn't a concern. Aging in place is best suited for those who have good health, a strong support system and minimally maintained, fully paid off homes.

What should I expect at 70 years old? ›

What to expect: As we continue to age, we may be concerned about losing cognitive function. It may be harder to learn new tasks, recall information or keep track of everyday household items. That's normal as our brain grows older. The brain changes caused by Alzheimer's disease, however, are not a normal part of aging.

What is aging in place in nursing? ›

Aging in place is when a person lives and ages in their residence of choice, for as long as they are able to. Aging in place includes having services, care and needed support in the residence as well. These needs may change over time and as the individual ages.

What is aging in place in psychology? ›

the ability of older individuals to live safely, independently, and comfortably in their own homes as they age and as their health-related and other needs change.

What is aging in place sociology? ›

Aging in place is about being able to continue living in one's own home or neighborhood and to adapt to changing needs and conditions.

What are the factors of aging in place? ›

The critical factors that contribute to ageing in place with quality are: habitat and safe environment, sufficient income to sustain life, support from family and friends and access to primary healthcare [21].

What is an example of ageism in nursing homes? ›

Examples of Ageism in Health Care

Staff members may share ageist jokes or may have implicit ageist thoughts and behaviors toward elderly patients without conscious awareness. Providers may also treat the natural effect of aging as a disease.

How can we take care of the elderly at home? ›

  1. Visit Often. Your loved one needs social interaction with you. ...
  2. Check Medications. Be sure that your loved one has adequate supplies of their medications. ...
  3. Hire Help. Image Credit. ...
  4. Make Home Modifications. ...
  5. Talk About Finances. ...
  6. Take Care of Paperwork. ...
  7. Watch for Driving Issues. ...
  8. Keep Them Active.

What mental illness are the elderly most likely to develop? ›

The Significance of Depression Depression, a type of mood disorder, is the most prevalent mental health problem among older adults.

What are the 5 principles of aging? ›

The Principles of Health Aging (PHA) builds on HIGH FIVE's quality assurance standard for children. Its principles—Mastery, Play, Participation, Friendship, and having A Caring Leader—have demonstrated success in encouraging older adults to participate consistently in physical activity.

What are three signs of aging? ›

Natural changes happen in the body as we age, such as skin damage from sun exposure, loss of muscle and physical strength, loss of some sight and hearing, as well as changes to our sleep patterns, energy levels and appetite.

What are the 5 pillars of aging? ›

Following are the main Five Pillars of Ageing Well: nutrition, hydration, physical, social and cognitive stimulation.


1. Aging In Place
(Right at Home)
2. Aging in Place: A Guide to Growing Old in Your Own Home | The Financial Commute (Ep. 30)
(Morton Wealth)
3. Design For Aging In Places
(SoFlo Home)
4. Full Episode | Aging in Place | ncIMPACT | PBS North Carolina
(North Carolina Channel)
5. 3 Critical Issues to Consider When Planning to Age in Place
(Sixty and Me)
6. Growing Older in Your Home
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