7 Features of an Age-In-Place Community

When most people think about and plan for their retirement years, they definitely anticipate aging in place at home. There are actually aging in place communities with homes that are accessible for any possible physical limitations, but have surrounding amenities in the community that would not otherwise be as available or accessible if living in a typical residential home. Read on to learn more about what these types of communities offer, and if it sounds like a great solution for you or a loved one. Thanks for visiting Advocare, serving the South Florida communities of Boca Raton, Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach and more.

Many retirees and pre-retirees have their hearts set on aging in place, the phrase used to describe people living in their current home as they get up in age—and continuing to live there as long as possible before having to move to a more accessible arrangement.

It’s the opposite of moving to a retirement community.

A prerequisite for aging in place is having a home that is—or can be retrofitted to become—easy to live in, even when arthritis becomes an issue or knee problems make stairs tough to climb.

But it also helps if the community surrounding the home is accommodating through its amenities and services, said Sandra Timmermann, gerontologist and founder of the former MetLife Mature Market Institute.

Some cities get better grades than others. And many that aren’t particularly accommodating would like to be, especially given that members of the huge boomer demographic are reaching their 60s and making decisions about where to live their years ahead, she said.

“What a lot of communities are doing now is taking stock of what their community is like…where there are gaps and where it’s doing well,” Timmermann said. “In some ways, what is good for the senior population can be an enhancement for all ages.”

The concept of aging in place isn’t new. It’s just that there are more people thinking about how they’ll do it, said Peter Bell, president of the National Aging in Place Council, a support network for people aiming to stay in their homes as long as they can. After all, by 2030, 19% of the U.S. population will be 65 years old and older, according to the U.S. Census.

“People have always lived in [their] homes as long as they can,” Bell said. “The challenge is can they live in their homes in the latest stages of life?”

Will your community be a good one in which to age in place? If it has the seven features below, the answer is probably “yes,” Timmermann said.

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