What Does Aging in- Place Mean?
You may have seen the term "aging in-place" and notice we utilize it when referencing our services. But what does it mean?
"Aging in-place" actually has a long history and the term, or it's usage, wasn't always positive. Nowadays, it is meant to be autonomy-minded and advocate for individual choice, often associated with a person deciding to age within the comfort of their home. But not so long ago it involved more negative meaning, often used when discussing the inability of an older adult to move to another location even when they needed to. However, we feel it is imperative to make sure our clients and supporters understand what we mean when we use the term AND advocate for aging in-place as a positive, healthy practice. For us, aging in-place is a multifaceted and dynamic term which means that services and support we provide are as well.
We believe aging in place should be used to refer to individuals aging in their own homes or remaining in their current community and living in the residence of their choice AND "meeting the desire and ability of people, through the provision of appropriate services and assistance, to remain living relatively independently in the community in his or her current home or an appropriate level of housing (WHO, 2021).
Aging in-place means choice. It is autonomy. The ability and enabling of/advocating for an individual to live where and how they want.
Aging in-place is also meant to prevent the traumatic occurrence of being required or forced to move to a location that is not desired or appropriate.