In recent years, the concept of “aging in place” has gained significant traction, especially in the U.S., where the aging population is on the rise. As the youngest of baby boomers are now entering their senior years, the demand for solutions that allow seniors to live comfortably and safely in their own homes is skyrocketing.
Here’s a deep dive into some of the current and future prospects of aging in place.
1. The high cost of institutional care
The American Council on Aging reports that the average cost of a private room in a nursing home exceeds $100,000 annually. With such exorbitant prices, it’s no wonder that many are seeking cheaper alternatives.
A certified aging in place specialist suggests that living at home can be more economical in the long run, though it often necessitates certain home modifications. This is especially true for those with mobility issues. Such modifications range from wider entrances and walk-in showers to pull-down cabinets, grab bars, and strategically placed thermostat controls. Making these changes not only makes daily life more manageable for seniors but also ensures their safety.
2. A booming seniors market and the rise of tech
By 2030, every individual born between 1946 and 1964, commonly referred to as baby boomers, will be 65 or older. This demographic shift is expected to further boost the demand for aging in place specialists. Currently, the market for aging in place is valued at over $150 billion annually. With one in four U.S. adults having a disability and 12.1% facing serious mobility challenges, the need for specialists in this field is more pressing than ever.
A recent survey by U.S. News & World Report, conducted in March 2023, delved into the use of assistive technologies by U.S. adults aged 55 and above. An overwhelming 93% of respondents expressed that aging in place was a crucial goal for them. The top devices they used to make that possible include medical and service apps, wearable trackers, smart home technologies, hearing devices, and medical alert systems.
Forty-nine percent of those from the survey above turned to health-related tech due to general aging concerns. Mobility (28%) and hearing impairments (22%) were the next significant reasons. However, not everyone is on board with this tech revolution. Seventy percent of those not using assistive tech simply don’t feel the need. Meanwhile, sixteen percent find assistive tech unaffordable, and fourteen percent fear it might compromise their independence.
When choosing assistive tech, key factors considered included ease of use, simple setup, mobile app accessibility, wireless capability, voice activation, and a discreet design.
3. Current living arrangements
As of 2021, sixty percent of individuals aged 65 and older lived with a spouse, twenty-seven percent lived alone, and only a small fraction resided in nursing homes. This data underscores the strong inclination of the aging U.S. population towards aging in place and their openness to embracing new technologies to make this a reality.
The trend is clear: the future of senior living in the U.S. is trending towards aging in place. As technology continues to evolve and the market for aging-in-place solutions expands, it’s an exciting time for both seniors and those working to make their lives better.
- Why an EHR Consultant Is Necessary for Every Long-Term Care Facility - September 20, 2023
- ICD 10 Hypertension Codes: Everything You Need to Know - September 14, 2023
- Senior Living Occupancy Rates on the Rise but Still Short of Pre-Pandemic Levels - September 14, 2023