Eighty-five percent of Americans over 55 want to age in place, according to a survey from Today’s Homeowner. They want to be able to grow old in their current homes.
Many homes, however, don’t have the necessary modifications, like ramps and wheelchair accessibility, that may be needed to age in place. Researchers polled Americans over 55 to gain additional information about why aging in place is important.
The main motivator for aging in place for 48% of the respondents was maintaining their independence. Data shows that while older adults living in retirement communities are happier and often healthier than those who don’t, the cost of senior housing and care facilities has been rising. In 2021, the median annual cost was $54,000 for an assisted living facility, so aging in place may be more affordable.
Ranking No. 4 on Today’s Homeowner’s list for the best cities to age in place was Pittsburgh. It provides an ideal place for seniors to age comfortably at home.
In addition, Pittsburgh ranks 10th for health and safety metrics, with a high number of hospitals in the area and a low risk of days with natural disasters. The city also ranks in the top 30 for having a high number of home health and personal care aids for seniors.
“Pittsburgh has many great amenities for aging in place. Not only are we ranked one of the top cities in the country for affordability, but also, we have wonderful amenities like a bustling cultural district and many wonderful restaurants for people of all ages to enjoy,” said Dominic Janidas, president of the Realtors® Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh. “In addition, Pittsburgh is known for its top tier medical facilities and hospital systems, making trips to the doctor much more accessible for our aging population.”
He added, “One of the other great points is the fact that our public transportation system offers many options for people to get around.”
Thirty-six percent of aging adults said they would move for a more affordable cost of living, while 34% don’t want to leave their current homes. Some respondents expressed concerns about aging in their current neighborhood.
The research team analyzed data from 100 of the U.S.’s largest cities to rank the best cities for seniors to remain in their homes for as long as possible. The city ranking was based on 13 metrics in three categories including finances, health and safety and community.
Philadelphia was the only other Pennsylvania city on the list, ranked at No. 95.