I see on the internet that there is a resistance to the phrase “Aging In Place” and it makes me wonder why there is such a stigmatism about aging. Why are those words so bad and why is it that other words have to be considered instead. Sure, aging with grace is nice and transgenerational design is used sometimes, but in the end, we are shying away from the word aging. I believe this to be a societal notion that reveres its youth.
Our society is aging and with the wonderful advances in healthcare and dietary recommended improvements, we are all living longer. Our society is facing a huge influx of what were once called senior citizens and now, oooh- hush-hush, we don’t call it that any longer! It means, sigh, we are getting OLD! Heck yes! I wouldn’t want to go back to my teen years or even my twenties ever again! Ick, nasty time in life when I had no idea what I wanted to do, what was really ME and not what my peers were doing.
So, our country is aging and most want to stay in their homes. I know I would want to stay in my home, not want to move into an assisted living facility or worse yet, a nursing home.
I had the opportunity to work on the Bear Lake Nursing home renovation some years ago. I attended meetings with the administrators and walked around the facility before the renovation and my heart ached for the residents. They had very little of their own. I fully understand wanting to have your memories and cherished items near you. They provide comfort and solace. While assisted living facilities and nursing homes are necessary, designers, builders and realtors need to educate those who want to remain in their homes and help them to prepare for and plan for safety and comfort as they age in place.
If you are planning to remain in your home as you age or you are looking to downsize and find a home that you want to age in, please, consider asking me or someone with a background in universal design or aging in place design for this time of your life. It is well worth doing a few simple things like considering certain lighting choices, flooring choices, hallway sizes, room locations, etc. that will provide you with the home that will give you comfort and safety as you grow older and much wiser.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you. Take care.