What It Means to Age in Place—and How You Can Make It Work for You
When it comes down to it, most of us hope to live out our days in the comfort of our own home. For many people, unfortunately, that's not a practical reality—illness, disability, and degenerative disease mean assisted living is the best route for many as they age. But with proper planning, experts say most individuals can lead long and happy lives in their long-time homes, no matter what age they are. The key is to plan for aging in place by making upgrades to your living space over the years.
"People spend a lot of time planning a two-week vacation, but they don't spend a whole lot of time planning that part of their life," says Lisa Cini, an award-winning senior living designer and CEO of Mosaic Design Studio.
If you want to pursue aging in place—the ability to live in your own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably regardless of age, income, or ability level, as defined by the U.S. National Institute on Aging—preparation is key. Your own home might feel like your preferred residence, particularly if you've spent decades there, but your home as is probably isn't equipped to support you as you age. Here's how to know if you should attempt aging in place and how to prepare your space and lifestyle for the long term.