Mental Health Benefits of Aging in Place

Posted On Wednesday, 16 May 2018
Mental Health Benefits of Aging in Place

Eighty-seven percent of adults over 65 would prefer to stay at home as they age, according to AARP.

Modern technologies and improving assistance programs are helping older adults to "age in place" instead of transferring to an assisted living facility.

Adults who stay at home into their golden years not only tend to be more content, but also maintain their cognitive health longer.

There are several ways that aging in place can help to improve a senior’s mental well-being and lead to a happier and healthier life.

A More Active Family Life

Living at home, seniors get to see much more of their families than they would in a nursing home. Visiting hours aren't restricted, and loved ones can serve as caregivers during the day. Seniors who live at home tend to get more personalized attention and social interaction than those living in a nursing facility, and so not as many face mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Living with younger family members can also help to keep seniors active well into old age.

Peace of Mind

With senior relatives living at home, caregivers don’t have to worry about what goes on when they’re away. They can visit daily to ensure that their loved one is taking the correct pills and getting three balanced meals a day. It’s a good idea for part-time caregivers to install a medical alert system so their loved one is safe after a fall or accident.

For caregivers who are busy with work or childcare, it’s possible to hire a home nursing assistant to help out on a daily basis. While this is a more expensive option than informal care, it will ensure that a patient gets the trained medical care they need. Families who are struggling financially may be able to pay for home health support through Medicare or Medicaid.

Financial Stability

Assisted living and nursing homes can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, especially for quality care. This can place a burden on the shoulders of seniors living on a fixed income or a savings account. Residing at home saves a significant amount on care costs, housing, and food, ensuring that older adults don’t have to worry as much about their funds drying up.

When possible, aging in place can be better for a senior’s state of mind than moving into a nursing home. Receiving care from friends and family helps them to stay connected to their community and maintain a higher quality of life. If you have an aging parent or relative, you may want to consider looking into what you can do to help them continue living safely at home.

Jess Walter

Jess Walter is a freelance writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and the additional time it means she gets to spend with her family and pets.

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