Right Place, Right Time

What does it mean to age in place?

The concept of Aging in Place is constantly in today’s media. Rarely do we think about what that really means. The first and obvious question is, “Age in what place?” the space one lives in may or may not be suitable for the long term. Do you have multiple floors and staircases to negotiate? Doorways that don’t allow for adaptive equipment like a wheelchair or walker are impossible. There are many residences that are too difficult to stay in. 


Beyond the physical attributes of a home are the changing neighborhoods and the ability to access grocery stores, medical care, and other necessities. Once an individual loses the ability to drive, these become serious issues. At one time, the neighbors may have been peers and friends, but that may change. Suddenly, the neighbors are not as attentive and helpful. 

Why do people move from home to home throughout their years?

Consider the number of times you’ve relocated in your life. What were the reasons behind each move? Often, it was due to the current location no longer being suitable. Perhaps it was a new job or an expanding family. Maybe it was purely for personal enjoyment. But, as people reach a certain age, they’re expected to remain stationary. It’s almost as if, in our society, it’s deemed a failure if you can’t stay in your home until the end of your life. This notion is preposterous!


Is it reasonable to assume aging citizens would stay right where they were while raising families and building careers? It really makes no sense at all. Part of the issue is that people collect a house full of stuff that then needs to be downsized. But the task can be overwhelming. Instead of dealing with the stuff, people stay in a home that is much too large and difficult to manage. 

Janice had visited McCrite Plaza many times but had a strong desire to stay in her home. We talked frequently about her reluctance to move. But the time came when she couldn’t take care of her home, the lawn, and her beautiful flower garden. She called and said she was ready to move. After she was settled in, she said, “My heavens, why did I wait so long? I haven’t had this much fun in years!” 

Moving is hard work but can be extremely rewarding.

Older people do all kinds of things in old age to flourish. They get their cataracts removed, their knees and hips replaced, have Medicare annual check-ups, and get their estates planned. But when it comes to where we live, we’re told it’s best to stay put.

The challenge of downsizing and moving to smaller, more efficient residences is serious, but the rewards can lead to a longer, healthier life. Because research shows that socialization is the number one health risk when growing older, being in the right place at the right time can make that easier and more fun! Living in a place that meets your needs and allows you to flourish in older age is ideal. 

How do you know the right place?

Ryan Fredrick, in his book Right Place Right Time, points out that if your home enables you to 1) live with purpose, 2) have social connections, 3) have physical well-being, 4) financial well-being, and 5) community well-being, then you are in the right place for the current moment. But how do you plan for a future that keeps those benchmarks in place? As you analyze your living situations, you may want to ask yourself if all five of these criteria are in place.


Think of it: place may be our most important decision as we grow old! Age has a way of chipping away at living with purpose and having lots of socialization opportunities. That’s especially true if you are a solo ager. 

Many businesses are invested in keeping you in your current home.

There is a 648-billion-dollar industry that wants you to stay in your own home. It is constantly advertised. Just to name a few: walk-in bathtubs, chair lifts that climb stairs, and emergency call buttons—“Help, I can’t get off the floor!”” These things are not bad, but do they solve the issue of socialization and living with purpose as you grow old? Loneliness and isolation are killers; you can’t prevent them even if you’ve made your home adaptable. 

What can McCrite Plaza do to help you?


At McCrite Plaza, we hear from people every day who are in an emergency situation. It is usually the adult children who call and say that their loved one can’t go home from the hospital or live independently. Typically, these folks have not planned ahead for their living situations and now have to make a decision for a quick move. We do everything we can to help and make the transition smooth, but these situations are so stressful for families. So we invite you to come for a tour and see if McCrite Plaza in Kansas City at Briarcliff or Topeka is the right place for you at the right time. 

Call McCrite Plaza in Briarcliff-Kansas City at (816) 888-7930 or (785) 267-2960 in Topeka to schedule a tour today, or complete the contact form below.

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