Dr.Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC
I read an article this morning that listed the advantages and disadvantages of seniors aging in their own home that I would like to share with you. The three major advantages of living at home are: maintaining seniors’ independence, a sense of normalcy, and lastly, maintaining community ties. It is difficult for a senior, or anyone for that matter, to maintain their independence in someone else’s home or in an assisted living facility. Seniors get used to living alone under their own roof and rules. When they are forced to move into an assisted living facility or into a child’s house where they can be looked after more closely, it can take a while for them to acclimate to their new surroundings. With a move and a new home, comes a loss of independence, which is hard for many seniors to cope with.
To me, the biggest advantage to aging at home with the help of a caregiver, if needed, is having a continued sense of normalcy. The familiarity of home, neighborhood park or corner market is familiar and creates a sense of comfort. It can be very draining to pick up your bags and move somewhere that doesn’t hold any memories or meaning. Community ties are hard to break and are another reason staying in your own home is ideal. Seniors who have lived in their own home for years have developed many close bonds with friends and neighbors. Losing those relationships would be painful. However there are two edges to every sword. With that said, the disadvantages to seniors living alone in their home are obstacles that could potentially become dangerous like a flight of stairs, up-turned rugs, sharp counter corners and clutter. Luckily, if you don’t have a family member to look after you, you can hire a caregiver to come over to assist you or your loved one as well as make sure the house is safe.