Internationally, ageing in place has emerged as an alternative to entering into institutional aged care early, Mirage News reports. The idea is to give older people the support they need to live safely, independently, and comfortably, in the place they want, for as long as possible.
“If you ask older people, it’s clear they wish to remain both independent and actively connected to their communities in their later years for as long as possible. Ageing in place is an option that supports such outcomes,” says Emeritus Professor Bruce Judd, UNSW City Futures Research Centre.
The emeritus professor is a co-editor of Ageing in Place: Design, Planning and Policy Response in the Western Asia-Pacific, alongside Adjunct Senior Research Fellow Dr Edgar Liu and Professor Kenichi Tanoue from Kyushu University, Japan. The book explores population ageing and housing issues, and the growing emphasis on ageing in place in built environments in Japan, China, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.
Prof. Judd says the clear preference from older people is to remain in the family home, but downsizing to a new home that better suits their needs is also an important option. Multigenerational living, which has been a feature of Asian cultures, is also becoming increasingly common in its own right in Australia.
“While older people do have a preference to remain in their homes because of the meaning and attachment they have developed…they’re also realistic,” Prof. Judd says. “It’s about giving them options and providing them with the right support to remain in the place of their choosing…which we know can contribute to positive health and wellbeing in older age.”
Despite the preference of older people to remain in their homes, ageing in place is not always easy. Availability of appropriate care services and a supportive built environment at all scales are crucial to enable ageing in place but often not well integrated.
Ageing in place: home is where our heart and health is (Mirage News)