When we think of “aging in place” what comes to mind most often are aging adults staying within the physical structure of their homes. However, the surrounding community is a crucial part of the spaces we live in. Here are five different aspects that contribute to an aging adult’s sense of home:
No. 1: Home as Familiar Surroundings: Feeling grounded in a neighborhood or a city plays such an important role in orienting aging adults. Seeing the corner farmer’s market, the post office, and your bank are sights that we all take for granted every day. They communicate to us a familiarity that reminds us we belong and we are home.
No. 2: Home as Neighborhood: Whether you’ve lived on the same block for 40 years, or you moved into your retirement home a couple years ago, the neighborhood and people you surround yourself with play a crucial role in creating the life that you want. Knowing you can call on a neighbor down the street if you need help or walk down a couple blocks to visit a friend and catch up on news gives such a sense of connectedness.
No. 3: Home as Community: For many aging adults, activities and involvement in the community are an extension of home. A faith community, charity, mentoring program, or hobby club may provide a regular sense of belonging, purpose, and connection. Committing to be with, learn, and serve alongside others also fosters a sense of growth and challenge and keeps minds engaged and fresh.
No. 4: Home as Rhythm: Having a schedule and rhythm to the day plays a big part in shaping our sense of home. It’s the reason that even when returning from a fabulous vacation, we are glad to walk through our front door. Maybe it’s your morning routine of walking and getting the mail, or weekend shopping that reminds you that you’re back in the swing of things.
No. 5: Home as Landscape: Of course, what we see out of our window or front door greatly shapes how we feel inside our home. There is nothing like looking out across the water or catching the tip of Mt. Rainer to welcome you home. Having continued access to enjoy favorite outdoor spaces in whatever landscape you call home is an important way that we enjoy our sense of home.
While we all take these aspects of our homes for granted, they contribute to our sense of connectedness to a place and a group of people. What millions of Americans have come to understand is that aging in place well means creating a plan to remain in their homes so they can continue to be nourished by the familiar surroundings, neighborhood, community, rhythm, and landscape they belong to.
In-Home Care services provide a support system on which to build a life at home as you age. From running basic errands to 24-hour live-in care, services are infinitely customizable so you get the care you need, no more and no less. If you are creating a plan to age well in your home and community, calling on a Certified Geriatric Care Manager is a great place to start. They can provide a 1-hour consultation to get you pointed in the right direction, or can complete a formal assessment of the home and individuals to create a plan of care. For service details call 800.628.7649.
Published on August 14, 2013.