What Does "Aging in Place?" Mean?

Smiling Grandpa Sitting In Chair

A lot of senior resources use the term “aging in place.” While some of our users may be familiar with the phrase, its meaning isn’t necessarily intuitive. 

In the broadest terms, “aging in place” is when a person ages in their residence of choice, typically a home they own. In many cases, this involves utilizing support services, like health care workers who visit the home. Needs typically change over time, but when a person ages in place, they consciously decide to stay in their home for as long as possible. 

But who has the ability to age in place? And are there strategies elderly folks can use to increase their ability to continue living at home? Will a medical alert device help? Below, we’ve unpacked some of the ways folks can age in place, when it may not be a good option, and how a medical alert system can make the decision easier.

How to Age in Place

There are a few strategies seniors and their family can employ to make aging in place a more realistic option.

  • Ensuring the home is senior friendly. This may include ramps, slip guards, and rails.
  • Living close to a support system, like friends and family.
  • Having safe and accessible transportation, like a car or public transportation.
  • Saving for a geriatric care manager or other health care professional who can visit the home when necessary.
Remember that many seniors live either with a spouse or in their own home, and a majority struggle with everyday tasks. In many cases, a support system of family and friends can help address these chores. When a support system does not exist, seniors should consider alternative residential options. 

When Aging in Place Isn’t an Option

Bright Red Apple Passing From Hands

No matter how fit your aging friend is right now, aging affects every person differently. Our vision becomes impaired, we can’t hear as well, and our mobility is severely diminished. But what must happen to strike ageing in place from the list of residential options? This decision is difficult, but if your loved one can’t perform the following tasks, an assisted living facility or elderly care center may be the safer option.

  • Taking care of your health, including eating healthily and exercising without difficulty.
  • Maintaining your home.
  • Driving safely or taking public transportation without issue.
  • Going out for errands or social visits without incident or experiencing extreme anxiety.

How Can a Medical Alert Device Help?

If you’re in the process of making the decision, or if your loved one has decided to age in place, a medical alert device can provide some relief. Living alone, or allowing an elderly parent to live alone, can be a nerve-wracking experience. Investing in a medical alert device ensures you are always connected.

If anything goes wrong in the home, be it a fall, a gas leak, or any other emergency, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing an emergency responder is ready to assist. Plus, pre-set contacts allow loved ones to reach friends and family through the medical alert device if necessary. Our devices are priced more reasonably than Life Alert costs, too, which means there will be more funds available for other costs associated with aging in place.