What is Aging in Place?

age [noun] an advanced stage of life.

The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines this hot topic as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” Aging in place refers to the changes our body over time and how the housing environments create a barrier or limitations in our abilities to function independently because our vision / hearing decreased, our muscle strength has decreased thus limiting our mobility, and more. Our environments may remain the same but our bodies change over time increasing the difficulty to manage our daily tasks. “Aging in Place” is a term that may be more common to the average population and will continue to be the topic of discussion in the design world especially as the number of baby boomers and the general population continue to surge combined with the number of reports of adults living longer and wanting to remain in their homes / communities (as shown in graph). According to the CDC the number of adults ages 50+ is projected to reach up to 132 million by the year of 2030.

The topic and statistics are repeated across various resources from the CDC, AARP, and Senior Living organizations. Nevertheless, the CDC has initiatives focused on Healthy Aging Actions to develop and promote strategies increasing accessible, affordable, and adaptable housing to allow older Americans to live safely in their homes.

Who benefits from designs focused on Aging in Place?

  • Not just about older adults
  • Persons who want to remain in their homes and communities (regardless of age)
  • Planners…persons building or renovating “forever” homes