Older couple, house, exterior

Most people at or near retirement age would rather stay home than move into a senior living community. But the gap between the two options is narrowing, a new survey has found.

First the good news: Fully 30% of respondents said they would move into an assisted living community, a 13% increase from 2016. When asked what might push them to move into an assisted living community rather than stay home, almost 75% of respondents cited failing health as the leading factor.

Now the bad: More than 80% of respondents say they plan to continue living at home as they age.

When asked if they could no longer live on their own, 52% said they would rather live at home but with a part or full-time caregiver over moving into an assisted living facility, moving in with friends or family or moving into a nursing home.

Bathroom modifications are key for most people planning on aging in place, with almost 75% saying they will make some sort of modification to their bathroom, be it adding grab bars and non-slip mats or larger changes such as a walk-in tub. Just more than 30% of people said they plan to make changes to the exterior of their home, such as adding wheelchair ramps or making lighting upgrades.

More than 2,300 people aged 51 to 80 participated in the survey. Full results are available here.

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