Ageing in Place is a person’s decision to stay in the home of their choosing as they get older. This means adapting their living environment to suit their needs, rather than moving to assisted living facilities or specific retirement communities. In Clinton, ageing in place has made a noticeable effect on the real estate market. Especially considering that most adults now have a preference to age in place – with 76% of people remaining in their current home. Instead of selling up, they are instead spending money on making modifications that will ultimately improve quality of life.
The cost of housing in Clinton
More than 27% of Clinton residents are over the age of 65. Considering that 1/3 of seniors are stay in their homes and choose to age in place, this will have a knock on impact for the city as a whole. For the younger generations in the Mississippi area, it means that there is a shortage of housing, particularly for those just starting out on the property ladder. The average cost of purchasing a property in Clinton has gone up almost 10% in the past year alone. In fact the median cost of buying a home is now $157,000. Even for the people over the age of 65 that do choose to sell up, the majority on them will choose to remain in Clinton – their home city. They simply buy somewhere instead that is more suitable for their physical needs, for instance a bungalow, or a ground floor apartment. It means that more housing needs to be built in Clinton for the younger generation.
Making home modifications
Consider that thirty years ago, most seniors chose to move to a home with nursing care, or an assisted living facility when they got older. However now, the most popular choice is to stay at home, make modifications and get outside help when needed. This can include installing stair lifts and elevators, or moving the main living quarters of the property onto the ground floor. Putting in open washrooms and easy access baths is a common modification. Many seniors also look at altering the structural interior of their current home, widening doorways and corridors, making it easier to move wheelchairs and other mobility aids throughout their home. The preference of ageing in place has created a boom for home alteration and building contractors.
The demand for accessible homes
The fact that the population of Clinton is getting older as we live longer and healthier lives has also driven up the demand for accessible homes in the area. More condos and apartments are being refurbished and built with the older generation in mind. There also more retirement communities than ever before in the area. Ageing in place means that Clinton’s real estate market changing and in order for the city continue having a strong community spirit, town planners and economists need to recognise this, so that seniors can stay at home.
Ageing in place is something that we need to respect as a basic human right. As town planners think about the future of housing in Clinton and the surrounding area, they also need to consider what the demands of seniors are, so that they can stay in the community that they love.