Aging in Place Statistics (2023)
Remaining in one's own home, safely and comfortably, for as long as feasible, is the essence of 'aging in place'. In this article, we will break down how many seniors prefer to age in place, the reasons why this is preferable, as well as the challenges that need to be met to age in place successfully.
- What Percentage of People Prefer to Age in Place?
- Top Reasons People Prefer to Age in Place
- The Biggest Challenges of Aging in Place
- Top Aging-in-Place Remodeling Projects
Key Aging in Place Statistics
- 92% of seniors say that they would prefer to age in place.
- 8% of seniors say they would prefer to spend their later years in an assisted living facility.
- 82% of seniors say they would like to spend the rest of their lives in their current home if they can.
- Of the 115 million housing units in the U.S., only 10% have the accommodations needed to support those who want to age in place.
- 76% of remodelers have said they have received more requests for aging-in-place-related features over the past five years.
- 93% of remodelers said that they had installed grab bars in the past year, the most aging-in-place feature requested.
- The average homeowner doing an aging-in-place remodel will spend between $3,000-$15,000.
What Percentage of People Prefer to Age in Place?
According to the American Advisors Group "Importance of Home" survey:
- 92% of homeowners surveyed between the ages of 60-75 say they would prefer to age in place.
- 8% of respondents said they would prefer to spend their later years in an assisted living facility.
- 82% of respondents said they would like to spend the rest of their lives in their current home if they can.
The University of Michigan conducted a similar survey with adults ranging from 50-80. This study found that 88% felt it was important to remain in their homes as long as possible.
It’s clear that the majority of older adults would prefer to age in place rather than join an assisted living community, and most people would also prefer to stay in their current home where they live now.
Top Reasons People Prefer to Age in Place
Many older adults would prefer to age in place due to a feeling of safety in their own home, sentimental value, and to maintain a sense of independence.
- 83% of seniors say they feel safer living in their current home than other living options.
- 56% of seniors say their home reminds them of their family.
- 62% of seniors say they have an emotional attachment to their home.
- 40% say "Independence" is the biggest reason to age in place, with "Happiness" ranking as the second most prevalent response, accounting for 25%.
- 43% of adults are not confident that they could afford assisted living expenses if needed.
Aging in place is attractive because most people feel more comfortable in environments that are familiar. With physical and mental health challenges oftentimes being unavoidable in people’s later years, trying to navigate an unfamiliar environment on top of everything else can seem overwhelming.
Financial aspects can also play a role in people’s desire to age in place. With the median monthly price for assisted living in the U.S. coming in at $4,500, many have concerns about their ability to afford help. According to the University of Michigan Healthy Aging Poll, 43% of those aged 50-80 were either not confident or not confident at all that they could afford personal and home services if needed.
The Biggest Challenges of Aging in Place
Common challenges to aging in place include unsafe housing, loneliness, unreliable transportation, and insufficient help from family or caregivers to perform household or personal tasks.
In a study that tracked tasks that became difficult for elderly homeowners to perform, the most common challenges included cleaning and outdoor tasks.
Cleaning included activities such as vacuuming, changing bed sheets, doing the dishes, and general cleaning. Outdoor tasks included mowing the lawn, painting, cleaning the gutters, and other yard work.
In addition to household tasks, basic personal tasks and mobility can also be a challenge.
- 11 million elderly Americans have serious difficulty walking or going upstairs.
- Another 4 million have difficulty bathing or dressing themselves.
- 30 million elderly people fall in the U.S. every year, which comes out to roughly someone falling every second of every day.
- 1 in 5 falls results in a serious injury
- Elderly falling-related injuries cost Americans $50 billion every year.
Top Aging-in-Place Remodeling Projects
While aging presents challenges to basic mobility around the home, most homes are not easily accessible for older populations. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 1 in 10 homes are suitable for people to age in place.
Here are the criteria for a home to be suitable for aging in place:
- The home must have a step-free entryway.
- There must be a bedroom and full bathroom on the first floor so older adults don’t need to use the stairs.
- At least one bathroom must have an accessibility feature such as handrails or a shower seat.
With the desire for many Americans to age in place being strong and many homes not being suitable for aging in place, remodelers have seen a rise in the popularity of age-in-place related accommodations.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, 76% of remodelers have said they have received more requests for aging-in-place-related features over the past five years.
When asked about which projects were most common, 93% of remodelers said that they had installed grab bars in the past year. Here are some of the most common aging-in-place remodeling projects.
The cost to remodel a home for aging-in-place can vary widely depending on the extent of the project. The average homeowner spends $3,000-$15,000 to remodel their homes for aging-in-place.
This could be as low as $350 for changing some doorknobs and light fixtures, to $50,000 or more for a home-wide remodel with universal height sinks, countertops, ramps, and wider hallways.
Aging in place is what 92% of seniors prefer – staying in their beloved homes. But here's the catch: only 10% of homes are ready for it.
The good news? More and more people are making changes to their homes, with 76% of remodelers getting more requests for senior-friendly upgrades.
While there are challenges to aging in place, it makes sense that the elderly are taking all the steps they can to stay in the comfort of their own homes as long as possible.