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According to an AARP survey, roughly 90% of American seniors wish to live at home for as long as possible. Seniors vastly prefer aging in place to facility care, even in cases where physical or cognitive decline makes it difficult to live independently. It can also be very difficult to choose between aging in place and senior living facilities. This decision is easier for many families when they’re aware of how living at home benefits seniors.

Mortality statistics show that a 78-year-old that lives an independent and active lifestyle has a life expectancy of 15 years+. If that same individual suffered physical injury or a disorder that required a move to a care facility, their life expectancy could be reduced by 50%-75%.

The mortality rate of individuals moving into a nursing facility increases within the first 12 months by as much as 50%-60%. And, the mortality rate is even higher when just looking at the first 6 months. Studies show better outcomes in cognition, depression, activities of daily living, and incontinence in the independent group when compared to the control group in nursing home care.

How this can help seniors:

Healthier & Safer Environment
In a large share of cases, seniors choose to live in nursing or assisted living facilities because they believe this will be safer and healthier than living at home. While true in some cases, this belief is often unfounded. Several studies have found that nursing home residents have worse health outcomes than seniors who choose to age in place, even if seniors are in similar health.

 Maintain independence
Age-related physical and cognitive decline can make day-to-day life difficult for seniors. At a certain point, elderly adults need help from others to accomplish everyday tasks. But, with help from family, friends, and professional caregivers, seniors can maintain aspects of independence while still living at home. Most important of all, elderly adults have control over their routine, activities, and life decisions.

Proximity to everything you know and comfortability
A person’s home is the most important place in their life, offering a sense of familiarity, comfort, and security. While some seniors quickly adapt to facility living, many seniors never truly feel at home in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Aging in place, meanwhile, allows older adults to stay in a familiar and cherished space. This is a critical and underrated factor in seniors’ quality of life.

Quick tips for ensuring a safer home for seniors:

Tip #1 – Poorly lit spaces can lead to falls. Where possible, install smart lights or motion sensors with bulb alerts. Check for burnt-out lightbulbs and replace immediately.

Tip #2 – Easily reduce the risk of laundry fire. Clean washer and dryer lint filters after every use. Do not leave an accumulation of lint stored in the laundry room. Never use an extension cord to run a washer or dryer.

Tip #3 – Recognize the 4 signs of an online shopping scam. It isn’t secure, it has a sense of urgency, the deal is too good to be true, and it is using a non-secure payment method. 

Tip #4 – Get regular checkups. This gives you a chance to keep tabs on your physical and emotional health which may detect potentially life-threatening health conditions or diseases early.

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