Advanced life events (ALEs) that impede aging-in-place among seniors

Lee A. Lindquist*, Vanessa Ramirez-Zohfeld, Priya Sunkara, Chris Forcucci, Dianne Campbell, Phyllis Mitzen, Kenzie A. Cameron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Despite the wishes of many seniors to age-in-place in their own homes, critical events occur that impede their ability to do so. A gap exists as to what these advanced life events (ALEs) entail and the planning that older adults perceive is necessary. The purpose of this study was to identify seniors' perceptions and planning toward ALEs that may impact their ability to remain in their own home. We conducted focus groups with 68 seniors, age ≥65 years (mean age 73.8 years), living in the community (rural, urban, and suburban), using open-ended questions about perceptions of future heath events, needs, and planning. Three investigators coded transcriptions using constant comparative analysis to identify emerging themes, with disagreements resolved via consensus. Subjects identified five ALEs that impacted their ability to remain at home: (1) Hospitalizations, (2) Falls, (3) Dementia, (4) Spousal Loss, and (5) Home Upkeep Issues. While recognizing that ALEs frequently occur, many subjects reported a lack of planning for ALEs and perceived that these ALEs would not happen to them. Themes for the rationale behind the lack of planning emerged as: uncertainty in future, being too healthy/too sick, offspring influences, denial/procrastination, pride, feeling overwhelmed, and financial concerns. Subjects expressed reliance on offspring for navigating future ALEs, although many had not communicated their needs with their offspring. Overcoming the reasons for not planning for ALEs is crucial, as being prepared for future home needs provides seniors a voice in their care while engaging key supporters (e.g., offspring).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-95
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Aging in place
  • Home care
  • Older adults
  • Qualitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Aging
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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