Wednesday, November 8, 2017

"People Age In Place Because They Are Invested"

There are several reasons why people remain living in their current homes and age in place where they are. One of these is because they are invested. They have spent a lot of energy and time remaining in their present home, and it is not something they want to relinquish and change. They are committed to staying where they are and to not moving.

Regardless of their age, and whether they have raised a family in their current home, it means a lot to them and represents a slice of their lifetime. They may only have lived there a few years, but they are invested in it just the same.

People are invested in their home in three principal ways. First, they like their homes. The like the general layout or floor plan. The like the neighborhood. They like their yard - maybe they have a garden or flowers and trees that they grow. They look at their home and figure out that they would have to find something really special to match or exceed what they have now - even if all of their needs aren't being met currently. When that is the case, we can step in and help. Homes aren't necessarily perfect, but people become attached to them.

Second, people are well off financially in their homes. Economically, they can't afford to replace their homes because they cannot get a similar home for anything close to what they paid or from what they can sell their present one for - even if they have no outstanding mortgage. Many of them have paid off their home or are well along on the way to getting there. It would take their equity plus considerable more to move. For less than the cost of selling their current home and moving -  and incurring a much larger mortgage payment and association fees - they can upgrade their current home to address any deficiencies or inadequacies that might be a concern. Again, this is where we can be instrumental in helping them make these important changes which will cause them to be even more invested in what they own and considerably less likely to consider moving.

Third, they literally are invested in their property with all of their belonging, memories, and what they have kept over the years - their "stuff." They have roots there because of this. They are tied to the home and yard because of they have that they hold dear that resides there with them. To even consider moving, they necessarily would have to get rid of some of the stuff they have because it is too numerous to move to another location - and it would seriously add to the expense of moving. The simple, and low-cost, solution is to remain where they are. They are truly invested in their home and land.

This last reason that people remain where they are is likely the dominant one for many people because it is most emotional - not that the other two aren't. It's just that these are sentimental or physical reasons for staying where they are. They have kept important reminders and mementos of their past and know where things are stored - or they know that they have something important stored someplace on the property even if they can't immediately locate it or remember just exactly where it is. The fact that they know they have it is emotionally reassuring and comforting to them.

Regardless of which of these ways - or even others - tie a person to their current home, people want to stay where they are. This means that many of them are going to need our help in determining ways - low-cost or even no-cost ways they can accomplish this effectively. We can help them create solutions or just be the consultant that helps them understand what can or should be done to create a more effective living environment.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging In Place Specialist - Master Instructor and best-selling author of aging in place books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555. Also, check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.