Aging in Place

aging in place"Aging in Place" means continuing to reside in the home where one has lived for years, within the community that is familiar and comfortable, as a resident advances into old age. When aging residents receive assistance in their own homes with transportation, cleaning and cooking, visits from health care workers, assistance with maintenance and help with other services, congregate or institutional care can be postponed or avoided. As opposed to greenfield construction of large institutional type living arrangements, aging in place makes use of existing dwellings and community resources. Municipalities can help residents age in place through their regulations and policies.


Aging in place has the following advantages:


Aging in place may present the following challenges:


aging in placeImplementation of an aging in place system may involve building code updates or municipal ordinance amendments to allow more appropriate structure and lot standards for accessibility modifications. Increased access to public transit must be considered to connect the elderly to medical and other services.

The most critical component for sustaining aging in place systems is the presence and involvement of a local senior center. Chester County is fortunate to have many active and well utilized senior centers. There is a broad array of services and programs offered including those providing direct assistance to elders who remain living in their homes. A significant volunteer corps is needed to implement the in-home support services.

A support system is also needed for family members or other caregivers of those elders aging in place. Supports may include respite care, adult day care, or flexibilities in work schedules or work adjustments provided through the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act granted by employers for the care of an aging parent or other relative.


To support the concept of aging in place, the Kennett Area Senior Center in the Borough of Kennett Square, has launched the new Neighbors in Action program, This is an intergenerational program designed by the senior center in partnership with the Chester County Department of Aging to address the needs of the elderly population (as well as people of any age). This model program serves older adults regardless of socioeconomic status. Provided services include:

The Downingtown Area Senior Center in the Borough of Downingtown, runs a daily program it calls "Downingtown Delivers." Through this program, the Senior Center provides meals to eligible, home-bound residents who are 60 and older and who reside within the communities of Downingtown Borough, East Caln Township and parts of Caln, East Brandywine, Wallace, West Whiteland and Uwchlan Townships. Meals are prepared on-site at the Downingtown Area Senior Center and delivered to the clients' home at the lunch hour. Clients may also receive other senior center benefits, including yard work, application assistance, and benefits counseling.

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