Through every stage of life, baby boomers have always been open to new ways of doing things. As a result, America is a very different place than it was 50 years ago.
Boomers retiring aren’t satisfied with the lifestyle that’s traditionally foisted upon older Americans, one that often brings loss of independence far too soon than most would like. As a result, 90% of Americans want to stay in their homes as long as they can, according to the AARP.
Plus, consider this: it’s no longer out of the question for Americans to live into their 80s and 90s.
Is it any wonder there’s a growing trend to spend those years at home? In fact, almost two-thirds of boomers have no intention of leaving their homes as they age. And many are still seeking their dream home.
Services that Make it Possible to Stay in Your Home Longer
Luckily, enterprising businesses and some government agencies are listening. The “aging in place” trend is fueled by an uptick in home services that make independence easier for older Americans. Here’s a look at services that address the top three concerns: healthcare, transportation, and meals.
Finding medical professionals who will visit your home isn’t as hard as it used to be. Many insurers, as well as medical practices, now see the benefits of sending nurses and other healthcare professionals out to manage baby boomers’ health care in their homes because it often ends up being cheaper for everyone involved.
Evidence supports individual savings as well as potential savings to Medicare, for both routine healthcare and for long-term care when people “age in place”. Thus, more practitioners are offering these services, which range from routine checkups to on-call nurses for emergency calls. Often, seniors can avoid a trip to the emergency room when a nurse visits instead.
Gone are the days when Meals on Wheels was the only option for home-delivered meals. Now there are all kinds of options. Plus, getting groceries delivered right to your kitchen is a trend for everyone, not just the baby boomer population. More prevalent in urban areas at the moment, these services are growing. Check with your local grocery store and national chains, like Safeway and Fred Meyer.
There are also hybrid grocery/meal programs like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, which deliver regular shipments of food specially picked for “what’s on the menu”. They come with all the ingredients you’d need to prepare a certain dish, complete with the recipe in the box.
Getting around can be a major hurdle, especially if you decide to stop driving. There are county-wide programs for seniors, but many boomers are taking things into their own hands. Some are forming “villages”, which are run like membership clubs.
Here’s how the villages work. Seniors who want to remain in their homes pool resources for things like transportation, handyman referrals, and socialization. The villages are neighborhood-based and often found in urban areas. Some collect annual fees while others are based on a network of volunteers.
To look for transportation services in your area, you can use the Aging Services Directory. It’s sponsored by a non-profit called Leading Age. In the Seattle area, King County Accessible Services is a good transportation resource.
Interested in learning more about other new ways boomers are paving the way for new ways to live in retirement? Subscribe to 3rd Act magazine and you’ll always be informed!