Older Adults Don’t Like the Idea of Leaving Home

7 Reasons Why Older Adults Don’t Like the Idea of Leaving Home

As adults age, the question of whether they should move into a retirement home or age in place becomes imperative. Family members of an older adult may begin to feel that their loved one would be better off in a retirement home or assisted living community. However, the older adult in question may not feel the same way.

There are several reasons why older adults may resist the idea of moving to a retirement home. Even if they secretly feel it may be a more viable option than aging in place, certain aspects of moving into a retirement community may hold them back. For tips on transitioning into retirement smoothly, click the following link to learn more.

By understanding the possible reasons why our older loved ones are apprehensive about leaving home, we’ll have a better chance of seeing the situation from their point of view. Let’s examine these reasons below:

To avoid physical and emotional stress

Moving to a new living space can be stressful for people of all ages, but it can be particularly tough on older adults.

When it comes time to pack up all their belongings, older persons may experience physical difficulties. Issues like arthritis and poor eyesight can make tasks like packing and moving boxes more difficult, which can cause both physical and emotional strain.

In addition to the physical stress, there’s a lot of emotional stress involved in the moving process, including getting finances in order, getting rid of beloved household items, and saying goodbye to a home and neighbourhood that they’ve lived in for years, perhaps even a lifetime.

To maintain personal independence

As our loved ones age, they may require more assistance with certain day-to-day tasks, so moving into a retirement home where staff members take care of chores and maintenance is a good option for individuals who need a little extra help.

However, many older persons resist this type of assistance, as it makes them feel lacking in personal independence and autonomy, especially if they only require a small amount of daily help.

Older adults don’t want to be told how to live. While modern retirement homes are focused on helping older adults regain their independence, many older adults fear that moving to a retirement home would result in the staff having too much of an influence on their lives.

To follow their own rules of living

Older adults want to live according to their own rules, standards, and preferences, regardless of their need for daily assistance.

For instance, if an older person moves to a retirement home, they may worry that their meal options will be limited or that they won’t be allowed to bring their pets. They may also worry about adhering to visitation hours with friends and family.

Overall, they may resist moving to a community where their lifestyle would be infringed upon by the rules and regulations of their retirement home.

To remain close to loved ones

A primary reason why older adults may resist moving to a retirement home is that it may take them away from their loved ones. Depending on where a person is located, they may have to move many hours away or leave the province to secure residence in a high-quality retirement home.

For older persons, uprooting their lives and leaving their homes is challenging. This transition is often even more difficult for those who have to move to an area without family or friends close by to help smooth the transition.

They love their home.

As mentioned above, older individuals may resist moving to a retirement community because they’re deeply attached to their current home.

Many older adults of retirement age have spent decades in their homes. It may be where they were married, raised their family, and hoped to spoil their grandchildren. Their home is full of memories, and they likely hope to make new ones.

After living in the same home for so many years, the idea of selling and letting someone else move in can be deeply upsetting. If the retirement home they’d be moving to requires them to downsize, they may also have to part with many beloved items they’ve collected throughout their lifetime.

They feel too young

There is a common misconception among older adults that moving to a retirement home will cause them to lead a slow and mundane life.

Newer retirees may feel too young to transition to retirement living when they still have other ambitions, such as travelling or taking classes.

In these cases, older adults are likely expecting retirement living to be what it was when their parents retired. However, the truth is that most modern retirement homes focus on providing opportunities for older adults to live full, active lives and act as young as they feel!

It doesn’t feel financially viable.

The final major reason older adults shy away from retirement homes is that they don’t feel it’s a good financial investment. At this stage in their life, their current home has likely been paid off in full, which makes the idea of paying to live in a smaller apartment less appealing.

However, in many cases, older adults will find that the cost of maintaining their home, along with paying for groceries, amenities, internet, cable, and other miscellaneous expenses, is equal to, if not more than, what they would pay to live in a retirement home.


There are several reasons why older adults shy away from the idea of leaving their homes to live in a retirement community. They may wish to age in place due to their attachment to their family home, want to maintain their independence, or not want to move away from friends and family.

By understanding their reasons, however, you can build empathy with your older loved one and help them select a retirement home that addresses their concerns.