Why Do Seniors Want To Stay In Their Homes?

Written By: William Rivers
Reviewed By: William Rivers
Published: January 28, 2022
Last updated: April 6, 2023

The majority of seniors choose to stay in their homes as they age. Moving is physically and emotionally taxing, and many older adults hate to leave their dear neighbors and a family home filled with memories. When those worries are combined with the dread of the unknown, a move to assisted living facilities can be downright frightening. However, the reality is that many seniors find it unhealthy and even unsafe to live alone.

Below are the reasons why seniors don’t want to leave their homes:

  • They find moving physically stressful
  • They don’t want to lose their independence
  • They feel anxious to leave their old life
  • They are emotionally tied to their homes
  • They fear the unknown

1. They find moving physically stressful

Moving out of a family home requires many elders to sift through decades of keepsakes and valuables. Even if families engage a moving company, friends and relatives will still be responsible for sorting through these possessions and arranging for an estate sale or alternative storage.

2. They don’t want to lose their independence

It is a widespread misunderstanding that transitioning to senior living involves losing independence. Although senior living communities have developed from care facilities to places that inspire and empower people, changing established opinions can be difficult.

3. They feel anxious to leave their old life

A move to senior living may require altering decades-old routines, and some elderly individuals may fear that the change will further separate them from lifelong friendships.

4. They are emotionally tied to their homes

A house is simply that: a house. A home, on the other hand, is something to be treasured. It might be difficult to leave a physical structure that has absorbed decades of memories and served as the backdrop for family holidays and reunions.

5. They fear the unknown

Fear of the unknown, above all, can keep elders in their homes, usually in an unhealthy situation. Seniors just do not know if the physical and emotional burden associated with senior living is worth it. They are afraid of losing important relationships and being excluded from future family celebrations and friendly gatherings.

Adults over the age of 60 who reported feeling lonely had a 45% increased risk of death, according to a study from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Additionally, individuals who reported being alone were 59% more likely than their more social counterparts to experience physical and mental decline — particularly in terms of daily living activities.

As a result, transitioning to senior living can help combat feelings of loneliness and elder isolation while improving the overall quality of life.

If you wish to know more about senior living, assisted living, or retirement homes, check out the Housing and Care section of Senior Strong!

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William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.
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