While there are concerns among seniors about loneliness, many respondents prioritize living independently.
In a survey of 1,000 respondents aged 55 or older, 89% of respondents said they wished to age in place in their own homes as opposed to seeking out more traditional senior living arrangements outside the home. However, despite the overwhelming preference, only 34% of respondents said it would be “very feasible” to pay for required home modifications to make aging in place easier.
This is according to survey results from Today’s Homeowner. In a survey using third-party tool Pollfish and conducted on June 28-29, one respondent described their motivation for wanting to remain in their home.
“I will stay here as long as physically possible, and if there is an issue I will be concerned at that time,” the respondent said. “My mom was able to live independently in her home until she was 95.”
Comparatively, only 36% of respondents said they would be willing to move to a different area with a lower cost of living. Per the survey, 34% said that nothing could encourage or entice them to leave their homes.
There are, however, concerns that some respondents expressed about living in their own homes into older age. These include performing day-to-day activities (37%), loneliness (35%) and being able to afford at-home care (27%).
The survey also identified three cities it said would be “easier” for aging in place with others: Corpus Christi, Texas, Spokane, Washington, and Amarillo, Texas were listed as the easiest, while only two cities in the most popular retirement states — Florida and Arizona — ranked in the top 30 cities for aging in place.
According to a separate 2022 survey conducted by Bethesda Health Group, seniors who live in more traditional care settings are happier than those who do not. But seniors who wish to age in place expressed concerns about their independence when living in such a setting, the new survey results explained.
“The other top reasons were living in a fully paid-off home (19%) and an affordable living situation (11%),” the results read. “Data shows that the cost of senior housing and care facilities has been rising, with a median annual cost of $54,000 for an assisted living facility in the U.S. in 2021. For many older Americans, aging in place may be the more affordable option.”
Coverage on the survey from McKnight’s Senior Living characterized the survey results as indicative of a need to change perceptions about senior care facilities.
“[T]he International Council on Active Aging recently published a white paper showing a large discrepancy between how senior living professionals view the industry compared with the views of prospective residents and their adult children,” the coverage said. That white paper showed the industry has some work to do to change perceptions, including adopting an ‘autonomous living’ approach and utilizing new caregiver and senior wearable technologies which would see the industry becoming more flexible in helping residents maintain their safety, security and independence while they age in place.
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