Growth Of Aging-In-Place Having Big Impact On Housing Market

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If anyone questions that more and more Americans are making the decision to age-in-place, a recent study by Freddie Mac, the giant mortgage funder should lay all doubts to rest. According to “Freddie,” the growing trend by seniors to stay put and age in place has triggered a shortage of available housing for younger buyers. It figures that over 1.6 million houses have been held off the market by seniors who have chosen to stay in their homes, rather than sell and leave their communities. That’s a large number. So what’s going on; what are the benefits of Aging-in-Place that make it such a compelling choice for so many people. Here’s how we see it.

For Starters, it’s about comfort. Living in your home for a long time is like wearing soft shoes;  you don’t want to break in a new pair. We all connect deeply with our homes, and aging-in-place allows us to maintain that familiarity and comfort. There’s real happiness when you can continue to live in a house surrounded by valued possessions and furnishings. And of course, it’s the place where your children, family, and friends can come and go, without having to deal with the schedules of an institutional facility.

But also consider the money angle.  Aging-in-place is generally far cheaper than other options like assisted living facilities or nursing homes. Our research found that over the past couple of years,  nursing home costs have averaged over $6,800 a month, according to government figures. Assisted living expenses are somewhat less, but at $3600+ a month, that’s still a steep cash outlay for most people. Staying in one’s home seldom produces these cost challenges. Helping push down expenses is the fact that many seniors have fully paid off their home mortgages. Plus, lots of communities offer a senior discount on property taxes. But that aside, in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, you’re often paying for unnecessary and expensive services that you can provide for yourselves; or pay for on an “as needed” basis.

Keeping your friends and social network close by. Leaving your community is never easy and, in fact, can be emotionally difficult. Relocating to a senior facility often means moving away from friends and social relationships that have been nurtured for years; it’s leaving behind favorite restaurants and familiar shopping destinations. Aging-in-place skirts these disruptions; it allows you to maintain current friendships and community connections and perhaps even expand them. Many communities offer active centers operated by professionally trained staff who put together relevant senior programs. And they can direct participants toward volunteer opportunities or other groups in the area. Many “aging-in-placers” actually grow their ring of friendships as they become increasingly involved in these group activities.

Most importantly, maintaining independence. Residing in assisted living or nursing home facilities comes with varying degrees of regimentation, perhaps restrictions on visitor and meal times and other demands that are dictated by group living. People choose to age-in-place to avoid these constraints on their independence. Remaining at home gives seniors the freedom to do what they like to do when they want to do it. Staying in charge of your schedule is a key reason people make the decision to age in place. And don’t forget the tons of available food, health, and transportation services now available that can help maintain this high level of independence.

We’re, of course, big proponents of aging in place and we make it our business to help you transition your home to a safe and accessible aging in place environment.  We’re glad to offer a wealth of information and answer any questions you have about our specialty and your future lifestyle.  Please give us a call at 604-259-9774.

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