Making decisions that affect your well-being can be challenging. Housing is one of those complex decisions because there are multiple options to explore, and older adults, their families and caregivers must weigh the pros and cons of each. A recent systematic review found that there are over 80 factors that influence housing decisions for older adults.(1) Age, health status, access to adequate care and services, comfort and safety are all important factors that must be considered.
Evaluating whether to age in place (at home) or make the move to a retirement home or long-term care facility can be a delicate and complex decision. A holistic approach that considers the full range of needs, values and preferences of older adults is required. Older adults who have cognitive and functional limitations and whose homes are not adapted to their needs may consider moving to an assisted-living facility or nursing home. For those who are able to stay at home, home modifications make it possible to do so for as long as possible, in securely and independently.
When making a decision about where to live, older adults should be formally engaged in the decision-making process. A 2018 survey revealed that when it comes to major life choices, only 35% of those surveyed played an active role and were asked what mattered to them.(2) There are a few ways older adults can ensure they have a say in life choices, such as where they live. There are tools and supports that can help evaluate and inform using the best available evidence. Through a collaborative process like shared decision making, older adults, their families and health and social care providers can decide on the best option together.
If you are considering making a move or are helping a loved one decide what housing options are right for them, read through our helpful resources below to inform the process.