They also consider the familiarity they have with their current home and neighborhood, although they may not label it precisely in these terms. Still, they opt to remain living where they are and forgo the need to learn a whole new routine at a new address or deal with the stress and potential emotional trauma that comes with moving and adapting to a new living environment.
Familiarity is revealed to people through their current home itself, in the yard that surrounds around their home (however large or small it is and whatever activities they enjoy doing there), in the neighborhood immediately surrounding their home (where they know people they see on a regular basis, by sight if not by name, and where they can walk without being concerned about stray dogs or other nuisances), and in the services immediately available within walking distance or a short drive or bus ride from their home.
When people wake up in the middle of the night in a home they are quite familiar with from having lived there for a period of time - to visit the bathroom or get a glass of water, for instance - it's nice for them to know that they don't have to figure out where they are or turn on all of the lights just to find their way. They just walk the familiar route they have been taking for years - even doing it in low light or no light - provided their path doesn't include any with obstacles.
People generally know where things are in their homes without consciously thinking about it. They can go to the kitchen and open any drawer or cabinet and know what's inside - unless they recently rearranged items. They have a favorite place to sit to read or watch TV, and they
If it turns cool or begins to rain, they know where to find the items needed to put on to be comfortable - inside or out. They know where the tools are to tighten a screw, hammer a nail, trim the hedge, or cut the grass - if they are still doing any of this type of home maintenance.
Steve Hoffacker, CAPS, 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.