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I used to believe that people could age in place if they planned ahead and found the right kind of housing. I now know that aging in place is a myth except for those who drop dead or who die suddenly.

I know this elderly couple that had a successful business in Arlington, MA. They did everything right by any financial advisor. But then Alzheimer’s struck one of them, and living in the same house, suddenly changed.

It is very hard to plan ahead when it comes to aging and housing. No one seems to know how long they will live or what kind of health care they will need during the last decade of their life. Most people do not die suddenly and can require a lot of care in the last years of their lives.

People who like to plan ahead and who have planned ahead may be surprised to find that conditions like Alzheimer’s disease require a lot of care and usually result in the need for special housing and around the clock care. Will you develop Alzheimer’s? If you do develop it how old will you be when it is diagnosed and how long will you live with it?

We can age in place for many years if we are in good health but most people in their 80’s are one hip fracture away from a nursing home or assisted living which to many seniors is the same as a nursing home in that it seems more like an institution than a home.

Moving from a large home that has stairs into a smaller Boston condo with no stairs certainly makes sense and is one way to age in place at least until more care is needed, as is living someplace where shopping is close and there is public transit. Most people outlive the ability to

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