Studies over the past 10 years show that the majority of Americans age 45 and older would rather stay in their own homes, even if it means needing daily home assistance.

The “Metlife Report on Aging in Place 2.0: Rethinking Solutions to the Home Care Challenge” focuses on Americans 65 and older, who make up 13 percent of the population, and demonstrates the need for communities and the government to make adjustments to accommodate this desire of older Americans, and outlines a plan for developing “Aging in Place” adjustments.

The adjustments needed include “homes in which residential design, health care services and new monitoring technologies are combined with comprehensive community care services to form a dynamic and efficient home health management system,” according to the report.

The report estimates that basic but significant residential design and structural modifications can cost $9,000 to $12,000 or more for a one-story residence. Common modifications, such as ramps, are estimated to cost between $1,600 and $3,200 for a length of 16 feet. Two grab bars generally cost $250, including installation. A typical stair glide can cost up to $12,000. And, it can cost from $800 to $1,200 to adjust a door opening.

The plan, or AiP2.0 as it is called, envisions a more effective use of resources and better coordination of service delivery mechanisms, and also the creation of business opportunities for the private sector. The AiP2.0 plan’s steps are:

  1. Homes prepared for Aging in Place through individual investment, subsidies and incentives
  2. Investment in businesses that will connect market sectors to improved service delivery
  3. Development of care management, social interaction, wellness and transportation systems
  4. Care management designed to dispatch services when needed
  5. Care delivery models to make better use of available, paid caregiver resources to meet the needs of individuals in the community.

Metlife Mature Market Institute Director Sandra Timmermann said, “Wherever older individuals live, whether in their own homes or in a care facility, the setting may be inefficient for many people, since a person’s need for care fluctuates as medical conditions come and go, often resulting in the need to move back and forth between multiple care settings.” She added that new development of care services, home design and technology would lessen stress for adults and caregivers, which would support a better quality of life.

In conjunction with the report, the Institute has created the “The MetLife Aging in Place Workbook: Your Home As a Care Setting,” a step-by-step guide to help evaluate care needs, determine whether residential modification and/or assistive devices are needed, identify potential care resources and understand the associated costs. The workbook also provides a listing of organizations and government agencies that may serve as additional resources in the caregiving area.

Source: MetLife Mature Market Institute

“The MetLife Report on Aging in Place 2.0: Rethinking Solutions to the Home Care Challenge” can be downloaded from www.MatureMarketInstitute.com.