Feb. 26, 2013 | Social Issues

Why We Want to Age At Home

By Colleen Shalby

Thursday on the PBS NewsHour, Ray Suarez reports on Beacon Hill Village, a nonprofit group that helps support independent living for seniors who would rather stay in their own neighborhoods than move into retirement homes.

Beacon Hill Village “offers all of the amenities of a retirement community, distributed, you might say, in the dense streets of an urban neighborhood,” Suarez reports. “So getting old doesn’t mean leaving a cherished life behind. Instead, a senior can ‘age in place.’”

There are now 110 such villages throughout the country, and nearly twice that in development.

But what about those who choose to live alone but don’t have such community to rely on for support? For them, the experience of “aging in place” can be quite different. So NewsHour asked seniors who choose to live at home what the rewards and challenges look like, and, for loved ones of seniors, how their parents’ and grandparents’ decisions affect their own lives.

For many, it’s a matter of pride and a decision to ensure their independence. For others, the choice was one of necessity and one plagued by loneliness. For the daughters and sons and grandchildren, their concerns often mirror the same ones their parents and grandparents had for them during childhood: that they be happy and healthy.

Below are some of their responses.