November 6, 2020
Reading Time 3 min.

Aging In Place Definition

Aging in place definition: The ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.

This is from the CDC’s Healthy Places Terminology. Also, you can take a look at the Complete Guide to Aging in Place.

The aging in place definition can be broken down into 4 parts: Home, Community, Age and Ability level.

smiling woman sitting front of table considering aging in place definition


Your home: The size of your home, layout and setup may be the most important features  to consider when looking to age in place. Ranch style homes between 1200 and 1600 square feet are usually a good starting point, because stairs are the single most challenging part for many people as they age. Although other sizes and styles of homes can work, everyone is different and should be addressed as such. Kitchen safety and bathroom safety are two areas to focus on as most injuries within the home happen in one of these areas. Remodeling is something to consider if your home, bathroom or kitchen is not currently set up for safety and convenience as one ages. Universal design is a concept to look into to create a senior friendly home. Check out Aging Care for a more in depth look at universal design. 

For a free copy of 11 Common Fall Hazards in the Home and Solutions 
and a free copy of the Static Balance Home Exercise Progression
Opt-In Magnet #1


Your Community: This is your support network of friends and family as well as access to medical care. “No one is an island” is true and becomes even more true as we age. It is a natural part of life to need increased assistance at times and more frequent trips to a healthcare provider as the years go on. Do you live near friends and family members? If so, and they are willing and able to provide some assistance at times, it can greatly increase one’s ability to age in place. Everything from occasionally providing meals, driving to appointments, company for shopping trips or community activities,  light house work or just checking in, hanging out and talking for a while can increase quality of life and help one remain safely in their home for as long as possible.

Drawing of community of people living the aging in place definition


Age: This is the third part of the aging in place definition. This may seem the most obvious, but it is still an important factor, and one that can’t be avoided. With increased age, comes wisdom and experience. These can be helpful for navigating the changes we will be going through. Decreased vision, decreased balance, decreased strength, greater risk of falls, decreased bone density, decreased cognition and decreased fine motor control are all natural results of increasing age. The good news is there are ways to reduce the effects of these changes associated with aging. Being aware of what to expect and how to slow the decline can increase one’s ability to safely live at home.

For a free copy of 11 Common Fall Hazards in the Home and Solutions
And a free copy of the Static Balance Home Exercise Progression.
Opt-In Magnet #1


Ability level: This can also be thought of as functional independence. Can you get through your day safely with the skills, and assistive devices you have? For the last however many years, this was no trouble, but now there are more challenges everyday it seems. This is normal and can be overcome. For example: With young healthy knees, ascending/descending a flight of stairs was not something to avoid. With age and arthritis, the two steps to get into the home seem like a mountain that must be conquered for every trip to the grocery store. Knowing what to do to improve strength and use assistive devices to make this task less of a burden will help you age in place. 

As you can see from the aging in place definition, this is a concept about staying out of the healthcare system for as long as possible to enjoy the greatest quality of life in your own home. Check out this post for an in depth look at aging in place vs. step up in care model.

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