Aging in place: From theory to practice
Keywords:older people, person-environment fit, community care, programs
The rapid aging of many Western societies has compelled policymakers and professionals to develop concepts, programs, and services to meet the complex and diverse needs of their elderly populations, in particular the segment of older persons who are frail, chronically ill, and functionally disabled. Aging-in-place has become a key and guiding strategy in addressing and meeting the needs of older people. This paper discusses the multifaceted aspects of aging-in-place and presents an ecological approach to understanding the interaction between the individual and her or his environment and its impact on agingin- place. Community care and its components are discussed, examples of programs that reflect aging-in-place and community care are presented, and problems of fragmentation between services are highlighted. The paper concludes with challenges that societies have to confront in order to enable their aging populations to age-in-place.