Those approaching or in retirement generally desire to age in place rather than move into an assisted living facility, but that may require alterations to their homes and enlisting outside help, according to a survey by the Retirement Living Information Center.
In a poll of about 2,300 people age 50 and older, 83 percent said they plan to continue living in their home as they age, with another 11 percent not sure and only 6 percent expecting to move into assisted living or a nursing home. Common reasons include desire to remain in the community and access to their preferred medical providers and to services such as transportation and shopping.
Of those planning to stay put, nearly three-fourths expect that they will need to make modifications to their homes, though, ranging from minor changes such as adding grab bars in bathrooms to major renovations to kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms.
Other commonly expected adaptions include subscribing to a medical alert system and using grocery delivery services, online medicine ordering and ride-sharing apps.
Just above half said they would continue to try to stay in their homes even when it became clear they could no longer live alone, by using caregivers either part-time or full-time. Another 30 percent said they would expect to move into an assisted living community in that event, while most of the rest said they would desire to move in with family or friends, with just 2 percent expecting to move into a nursing home.
“It’s worth noting that assisted living facilities are less restrictive than nursing homes. Many assisted living facilities offer care on an “as-needed” basis but allow you to come and go as you please, while nursing homes focus on full-time medical-based care and come with less freedom,” the report added.
By far the largest expected trigger for a decision to move out of one’s home was failing health, although financial trouble, the effort needed to maintain the home, the death of a spouse, and family pressure also were cited.