Aging in Place:

aging in placeLife inside an assisted living community or continuing care retirement community.

The move to an assisted living community can be emotionally taxing for the elderly person who can no longer thrive independently. It carries significance beyond a normal relocation because it indicates a marked decline in the senior’s autonomy and function. The decision to seek residential care is often postponed by aging people and family members alike because of the dramatic nature of the move.

What is Aging in Place?

Thankfully, in response to these concerns, a movement was started called "Aging in Place." Aging in place is the ability for an aging individual to live in his current or preferred environment until the end of his life. With this model, adaptations and services are provided in this preferred location, whether it is in a home or an assisted living community.

Aging in Place at an Assisted Living Community

Aging in place is a central philosophical aim of the assisted living movement. In an assisted living community, aging in place is facilitated by adaptations applied to all residences and common areas regardless of resident needs. Emergency call buttons, ramps, wider doorways, showers with seats and handle-bar door knobs make little trouble for able-bodied residents, but functionally extend the residents’ length of stay if arthritis, heart attack, instability or disability set in over time.

If not necessitated by significant physical or cognitive impairment, the senior in an assisted living community can often remain in the same facility—if not the same wing, floor, or even room—that she originally moved to. Hospice care is even provided at assisted living facilities so that when their time comes, residents may depart in familiar personal surroundings. This aspect of aging in place cuts back on the hassle of relocating, but it also provides a sense of continuity and strength to the aging individual.

How the Continuing Care Retirement Community Allows for Aging in Place

The continuing care retirement community (CCRC) is a hallmark of the aging in place movement. CCRCs are large, multi-faceted facilities that offer different levels of senior care in one location. Inside most CCRCs, you’ll find an independent living community, assisted living community and skilled nursing facility. This set up allows for aging in place more than any other set up by virtue of the vast number of services offered and the wide variety of seniors served.

The move to a continuing care retirement community is usually the last true "move" a senior will have to make. Many CCRCs are designed in such a way where residents must transfer to another wing or section of the community as their needs increase. But the people, atmosphere, food, activities and staff remain constant, thereby providing stability. Picking a continuing care retirement community can be a good choice for seniors looking for independent living or skilled nursing facilities and wanting to cut back on unnecessary relocation.

If your loved one is drawn to the idea of aging in place, you can look for the right assisted living community or continuing care retirement community today by using the search form at the top of this page. If you would like to speak to one of our experienced elder care advisors, simply call the toll-free number at the top of this page. Our elder care advisors are standing by to talk to you about your needs and match you with local aging in place facilities, free of charge.