The Aging In Place Movement
If you have ever worked in a long-term care facility, you have probably thought that there has to be a better way to care for aging adults. Though long-term care facilities once offered relief to families of aging adults, now it has become apparent that individuals who are able to utilize home health care and live at home during their golden years often fare much better than those who end up in long-term care facilities.
There are many reasons why staying in the home might be better than moving to a nursing home. Staying in the home allows a person to continue to be a part of society and maintain relationships that have been cultivated over a lifetime. Moving to a nursing home or other long-term care facility can be scary; it's almost always better to remain in familiar and comfortable surroundings. Of course, there are situations where institutional settings may be necessary but in general, healthcare experts are encouraging aging adults to "Age in Place", or live out their golden years at home.
Age management medicine has changed the course of human development in many ways. Hormone replacement therapy, for example, has made the aging process more comfortable. Recent advances and discoveries in this field may lead to a decreased incidence of certain age-related diseases like arthritis and Alzheimer's. These diseases have afflicted generations of people who were not necessarily able to stay at home because of age-related health problems. In almost every long-term care facility across the United States, there is at least one wing or one floor that is devoted exclusively to Alzheimer's patients. New medical advances may drastically reduce the number of patients who will have to struggle with diseases like Alzheimer's making Aging in Place a possibility for more and more Americans.
Aging in Place solves a number of problems both for aging adults as well as for the healthcare system in general. As the Baby Boomer generation gets older, there may potentially be a significantly increased burden on institutional settings providing long-term care. Aging adults who can stay at home and Age in Place by utilizing resources like home health care not only diminish the impact on these institutions, but also lead happier more fulfilling lives.
Aging in Place has a number of psychological benefits for adults who are willing and able to make a plan to stay and continue to be a part of their community and neighborhood during their twilight years. Encouraging aging adults to continue to have a connection to the rest of society has important benefits for everyone, not just the adults who are growing older. Aging adults are undoubtedly going to be in better health and more capable longer as medicine continues to make advances and this means that adults can continue to play an important role in communities instead of being shut away in institutions or assisted living facilities as they age. Aging in Place offers an alternative, more positive way to view and anticipate the process of growing older