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Aging in place

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Aging in place in its simplest form is growing older without having to move.

According to the Journal of Housing for the Elderly, it is defined as "not having to move from one's present residence in order to secure necessary support services in response to changing need."

Aging in place (also refered to as Aging at Home) has grown in popularity and celebrated by the National Aging in Place Week and the National Aging in Place Council that promotes the positive outcomes of seniors having a choice in their care and living arrangements.

There are now Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) specialists to fill the growing need in this service model for seniors. Communities are now fully engaged and committed to exploring ways to better serve seniors by developing action plans that address the future needs and ensure that the services are in place for seniors. Within gerontology, sociology and anthropology, aging-in-place is a construct described as

"a complex set of processes that is part of the universal and ongoing emergence of the person–place whole, and the creative social effort to reintegrate the whole in a meaningful way when problems arise, compounded by an older adult’s evolving situation." (Cutchin 2003)

Technology Assisting Seniors Aging In Place

There are a number of assistive technologies that help seniors stay at home and live out their lives in dignity in their own homes. The following are a few of these technologies:

  • Medication reminders - this simple technology sends periodic notices to senior informing them when they should take prescription drugs and medications. These automatic reminders employ Voice broadcasting technology that sends phone reminders using computerized phone systems and scheduling software.
  • Telephone reassurance - this is a service offered for free to many seniors in different communities. The service calls seniors at home to ensure their well-being. This provides peace of mind to not only the seniors but to family members (who generally do not live near their senior family member). IVR programs are often used within this technology that prompt seniors to press a key to automatically notify the sponsors of this program that they are OK.
  • Medication Refill Reminders - additional reminder technology that can send phone messages reminding seniors and others to fill their pharmacy refills.

Related Terms

  • Independent Living - The ability of seniors, disabled, handicapped, and individuals with impairments to live normal lives through the use of assistive technologies and community assistance.
  • Assisted Living - This differs from Aging in Place because it generally refers to living in a facility that is designed for the special needs of aging seniors (such as medical staff, cooking and cleaning assistance, etc.)

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