4 Benefits of Aging in Place
Sheena Nguyen, Pharm.D. Candidate 2020
For the first time in U.S. history, by 2034, there will be more adults over 65 than children under eighteen. The Census Bureau estimates that there will be 77 million adults over 65 in the U.S. at that time. As the number of older adults grows, there will be a greater demand for geriatric support in healthcare and housing.
Aging in place is the ability for older adults (generally categorized as over 65 years old) to live and age in the community of their choice for as long as possible with all the services, care and support necessary to adapt over time as the individual ages.
4 Ways Living at Home can be Beneficial for Older Adults:
As people age, they may have changes in health conditions or require additional services. Aging in place can provide access to those services to empower you to live self-sufficiently and safely at home. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging reported an average annual cost of nursing home care of about $82,000 for a shared room and $92,000 for a private room, and that was in 2016. Home care services typically cost less than nursing home services, and you can choose which services you need and when you want them—essentially, you’re only paying for the services you want and need.
Aging in place can strengthen community supports and increase your social interaction. When you live at home, you are generally closer to your friends and family. Studies have shown that seniors who stay socially active gain numerous health benefits including lowering their risk for mental health issues, increasing longevity, and creating a sense of belonging by avoiding isolation and loneliness.
Instead of moving into a costly nursing facility, you may have the option to remain in your home, close to familiar surroundings. If your current home requires too much maintenance or doesn’t best suite your current needs, an independent living, or senior community may be a good alternative that still allows you to have your own private space. In your home, you can maintain your lifestyle, decorate, and entertain, while still receiving the health care or home services you need.
Communicable Disease Control
Nursing facilities often contain large numbers of people in poor health living in close quarters. This can be a public health concern for infections and diseases that spread from person to person. As your immune system weakens over time, there’s an increased risk of contracting communicable diseases. When you live in your own home, you are less likely to become sick than when living in a long-term care facility.
How Can Your Pharmacist Help?
Aging in place promotes living freely in your community. While there are many benefits to living in your home as you age, your health care needs often increase, which is a primary reason for moving to a nursing home. Over time, your medication list also tends to grow, and your pharmacist plays a crucial role in helping you identify high risk medications to avoid unwanted side-effects and hospitalizations, managing multiple chronic health conditions, and optimizing your treatment plan to save you time and money.
Contact us at Consana to talk to a clinical pharmacist about how you can receive a Comprehensive Medication Management review and start your journey towards aging in place.
More information about the topics discussed in this article can be found at:
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Stephens, a Simply Connect partner, is the recipient of the 2020 President’s Standing Ovation Award by the American Society for Consultant Pharmacists