AARP: 76% of Older Adults Want to Age in Place

by John Yedinak

The desire to remain at home during retirement continues to be extremely important to people as they age, according to a new report from AARP.

The data, released last week as part of the senior advocacy group’s 2018 Home and Community Preferences  survey, shows that almost 80% of adults age 50 and older want to remain in their communities and/or homes as they age.

“People spend years making connections and commitments to homes, friendships, community organizations, and local social ties within their community,” AARP noted in the report. “Communities become a source of support and engagement for residents, particularly older adults who have an even stronger desire to age in place.”

While the preference to remain at home remains high for older adults, the intensity of that feeling has dropped over the past decade. In 2010, 74% of adults 50 and over said they strongly desired to remain at home; in 2018, that figure fell to 55%. The overall desire to age in place — which includes people who said they “somewhat agree” — dropped from 86% at the start of the decade to 76% this year.

In order to remain at home, half of all adults said they were interested in joining a “village” in their area and are willing to pay for the services it provides. These “villages” typically take the form of community-based non-profits that provide members access to educational, social, and wellness activities. Other “village” services include volunteer drivers to help seniors stay active as they age, as well as referrals to approved local service providers.

The AARP survey also found that many adults age 50 and older are willing to consider alternatives such as home sharing (32%) and building an accessory dwelling unit (31%).

Home sharing for older Americans has started to take off as a result. Silvernest, an online roommate-matching platform that pairs boomers and empty nesters with compatible roommates, announced it raised $3 million last week.

In the past year, Silvernest has expanded to all 50 states and has made nearly 40,000 qualified matches in its system.