For the elderly, making the choice between living in their homes and moving to a retirement community or care home can be a difficult one. Research consistently shows the majority of older adults wish to continue living in their homes. According to one study by the AARP 90% of seniors (aged over 65) wish to continue living in their current residence.
There is a multitude of reasons why the elderly might choose to live at home. The meaning and experience of home are multidimensional – psychological, social, economic, material, and temporal (Despre´s and Lord, 2005). The home is more than the physical boundaries of brick and mortar. It’s a place of personalization, privacy, and refuge, socialization, and ownership, among many other things. Above all, the home is an important constituent of identity and self, and relocation often brings significant psychological and emotional loss (Hopkins and Dixon, 2006).
Despite the multiple incentives of continuing to live at home, it is often difficult to make a choice between doing that and moving into a care home. With increasing age, there can be a loss of bodily capacity and autonomy. Even if this is not always the case, there might be a fear of the lack of safety, security and the possibility of injury. In a study conducted by Doro of seniors living in France, Italy, Germany, the UK and Sweden, almost 50% expressed concerns about not having the energy to look after themselves and 22% between the ages of 55-85 years reported concerns about falling. When the research was re-run in groups of seniors aged between 66-85 and then 76-85, the percentages afraid of falling rose to 24% and 31% respectively (click here to read the full report). In the UK, 50% of people over the age of 80 falls at least once a year. Even minor falls can be dangerous for the elderly, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reporting falls to be the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in Americans aged 65 and older.
Linkt to the full report :
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