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Pros and Cons of Aging in Place

Written by Kristen Hicks
 about the author
8 minute readLast updated March 29, 2023

There’s a certain allure to growing old in a familiar place, where you’re surrounded by friends, family, and a life of memories. In fact, many older adults in the United States intend to do just that by aging in place. However, it’s important to consider that aging may also include changes in health and other unknown challenges. Arriving at the right senior living option for your loved one can be a challenging journey, but exploring the pros and cons of aging in place may help bring you closer to a resolution that benefits the entire family.

Key Takeaways

  1. Aging in place is a choice made by seniors to age in their own home. Seniors aging in place live independently and often receive support from family or professional caregivers.
  2. Aging in place allows seniors to remain in a familiar environment. They can continue to live in their neighborhood among neighbors and friends.
  3. The costs of home care can become expensive as a senior’s care needs increase. While the cost of occasional care can fit many budgets, home care costs may exceed senior living communities with higher levels of care.
  4. Maintaining a social routine is important for seniors who age in place. Relationships and engaging in social activities may help reduce the health risks associated with social isolation.

What is aging in place?

Simply put, aging in place is a decision made by seniors to grow older while continuing to live at home. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, usually by combining support from family caregivers and home care services.

Benefits of aging in place

For seniors who opt to age in place, there are several advantages ranging from financial savings to maintaining relationships and a sense of independence. There are many reasons families choose to support their loved one’s living at home, including the following.

Aging in place may be less expensive than living in a senior care community

The median cost of residing in an assisted living facility is $54,000 per year, according to Genworth’s 2021 cost of care survey . A private room in a nursing home is $108,405. Some types of insurance can help offset the costs of care, but the price tag can be staggering for many families.

Seniors can stay in the home and neighborhood they know

Your loved one may be attached to their home, but it’s likely they have built relationships with neighbors and feel a connection to their surrounding neighborhood. Aging in place allows them to remain close to friends and the environment they know and love.

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Seniors can receive professional in-home care

Supporting a loved one who is aging in place can be a challenge for busy families, especially if their loved one struggles to perform daily activities. For example, a family caregiver may have to step in and help if failing eyesight or dementia makes it unsafe for their loved one to drive to the grocery store or complete house chores.
However, there are home care options that can help make aging in place easier for seniors and their family caregivers. Home care aides can be hired to do tasks like grocery shopping, housecleaning, and even walking a loved one’s dog.

Seniors can retain independence, comfort, and memories

A move can bring big changes that can be challenging as adults age. Remaining at home may offer your loved one familiarity and comfort in a place that, for many seniors, is tied to meaningful memories. For some seniors, living in their own home may also provide a feeling of independence and purpose.

Cons of aging in place

Seniors who want to remain in their own home may only consider the aging in place benefits. However, there are challenges — even for families who have prepared for their loved ones to age in place.

Higher levels of home care can be expensive

Older adults typically move into senior living communities because they need a higher level of care than they can receive at home. While occasional help can be a less expensive approach to in-home care, it can cost over $200,000 per year for 24-hour care. You may struggle to provide care without help if your loved one requires health monitoring or constant supervision.

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Assisted living may be a good fit for a loved one who is healthy but can no longer live at home alone safely and requires support with activities of daily living. For a loved one who has a health condition and needs around-the-clock care, a nursing home may be a good option.

As seniors age, their ability to live safely may become more challenging

For families who have an aging loved one living at home alone, safety can be a major concern. Without modifications, a senior’s home may have several obstacles that were not previously considered dangerous. For example, stairs and bathrooms pose fall risks, and for seniors with memory loss, kitchen appliances can be hazardous.

Reduced mobility and transportation can be limiting and isolating

Certain parts of a loved one’s home may become inaccessible to them if they require support with walking or navigating stairs. In addition, the responsibilities of home ownership and maintenance can become more challenging for a senior loved one as they age. If a loved one requires support with tasks such as bathing and dressing, family caregivers must be available to help or consider hiring an in-home caregiver.
If your loved one can no longer drive, it’s important to consider how they’ll get groceries or go to appointments and social events. Most senior living communities provide meals, transportation, maintenance-free living, and opportunities for social interaction.


One of the more challenging parts of aging in place for seniors is avoiding loneliness. Maintaining relationships and engaging with others are important aspects to reducing the health risks associated with social isolation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) . Making sure a senior loved one maintains a social routine can also be challenging for family caregivers. Senior living communities typically have regular social activities, and many home care providers offer companionship visits, which can help your loved one stay socially engaged.

Help finding home care and senior living options

Caring for an aging loved one may include supporting them at home, but it’s important to consider that they may eventually need more help than you’re able to provide. OurParents can assist your family as you begin to explore the various in-home and community care options. Speak to one of our Senior Care Advisors for information on senior living options for your loved one.


Meet the Author
Kristen Hicks
Edited byDanny Szlauderbach

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