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Aging in Place: Home vs Facility Living


In 2022, BC Seniors Advocate reported that approximately 95% of older adults reside in their own homes whilst 5% prefer to live in assisted living or long-term care facilities.

For most seniors, their own homes represent a familiar and comfortable environment where they feel a sense of security, belonging, and independence. However, deciding between living at home versus living in facilities is highly dependent on individual circumstances and health care needs.

AGING at OWN HOME

A strong desire to age in their own homes is often expressed by many individuals. With care homes being the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of seniors and their families are now preferring to age at home but the dilemma persists.

Benefits of Living at Home

A strong desire to age in their own homes is often expressed by many individuals. With care homes being the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of seniors and their families are now preferring to age at home but the dilemma persists.

  • Security, Comfort and Belonging

A person’s own home environment contributes to the sense of belonging, security, and comfort. They are spared of the burden of relocating to a new, unfamiliar surroundings.

  • Self-preservation and Dignity

Living in one’s own home provides a dignified sense of independence and autonomy. The sense of self regulation and decision-making is preserved.

  • Consistency and Familiarity

Maintaining a regular and consistent home routine can contribute to higher quality of personal and social life for seniors staying within their own communities and groups.

Disadvantages of Living at Home

  • Safety and Health Concerns

Hazards and risk factors such as fall, comorbidities that limit physical ability, and the lack of reliable home health care support may pose dangers and compromise well-being.

  • Financial and Physical Limitation

Home modifications to accommodate changes in care needs and declining physical strength can be challenging, along with the home maintenance and repair.

  • Social Isolation and Loneliness

Time spent alone can lead to isolation and health decline such as but not limited to loneliness, depression, uncontrolled diabetes, and medication mismanagement.

AGING in CARE FACILITIES

For other families and older adults, the decision to age in care facilities, whether in assisted living or in long-term care facilities, can be difficult and can bring out conflicting feelings. It is therefore important to determine what is best for yourself and/or your family member’s.

Benefits of Living in Care Facilities 

  • Round-the-clock Staffing

The availability of care staff 24/7 can be assuring, especially for seniors with complex care needs.

  • Senior-friendly Design

Facilities are designed with features that provide various amenities and services so the needs of older adults living within are catered to.

  • Social Opportunities

Opportunities for socialization and group activities with other residents help in the maintenance of physical health and mental well-being.

Disadvantages of Living in Care Facilities 

  • Generalized Care

Seniors receive care as a group hence gaps in personalized or customized care occur. This can lead to unmet needs, loss of choices, and loss of control over their own care.

  • Concern of Quantity over Quality

Issues like understaffing or high turnover, and inadequate training can affect the level and quality of care received by residents, especially those living in large facilities.

  • Long Wait Lists

Currently, facilities have long wait lists that are between 12 to 24 months, leading to seniors and families’ stress with the unknown timeframe and location of residency.

Deciding where to age in place requires thoughtful consideration of these advantages and disadvantages, respecting yours and/or your family member’s care needs, personal preference, financial situation, and available resources. In some cases, a combination of in-home care and community resources can effectively address these challenges[1], [2], [3].

At AllCare Nursing, our compassionate team is committed to providing you with person-centred and family-supportive care to ensure that you are safe, comfortable, and joyful whether at home or in any care facility in BC.


[1] https://www.seniorsadvocatebc.ca/app/uploads/sites/4/2022/12/MSS_Report_2022.pdf

[2] https://www.bcsla.ca/blog/what-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-senior-living/ 

[3] https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/14/aging-in-place-vs-assisted-living-its-complicated.html

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