Independent Living Vs. Aging in Place: Factors to Consider

independent senior living apartmentsToday, a significant proportion of seniors would prefer to remain in their homes as they age. It’s easy to understand why, as their home is familiar and comfortable. But that doesn’t mean that aging in place is the right choice for everyone. In fact, independent seniors may find they fare better in living communities than they do staying at home. In today’s post, we’ll take a closer look at some important considerations when deciding whether you or a loved one wants to age in place or explore independent senior living apartments as an option.

Independent Living Facilities For Seniors
One important factor about independent senior living apartments is that there are no maintenance or changes required. If you choose to remain in your home, you will have to make modifications to improve safety and accessibility and keep up with regular home repairs, landscaping, and other tasks. But in a senior living community, those aspects are already taken care of for you.

Another key point that might make you consider independent living facilities is the improved socialization. Feelings of depression and isolation are a real concern for many seniors, especially when they choose to age in place. But when you live in a community, you’ll have access to all kinds of activities and will be around other residents with similar experiences and from the same age group. An Independent Living Report from 2009 from the proMatura Group, LLC found that when you become part of an independent retirement community, you’re more likely to make new friends and try out new things. Many seniors living independently say they had a better experience than they expected and that they wish they had made the move sooner.

Ultimately, independent senior living apartments may cost more upfront than remaining in your home. However, living in these communities provides valuable peace of mind for both seniors and their families. They provide better safety measures and are more accommodating in the long run than the average house, and choosing to live in a community like this can help alleviate caregiver stress and other unexpected costs later on.

Aging in Place
Choosing to remain in one’s home can be a relief for many seniors at first. No one likes change, and having to leave your familiar, established environment can be distressing to many people. However, if you do want to age in place, home modifications are necessary for safety and accessibility. You might not think about those factors now if you’re fully abled and in good health. But at some point, it will become apparent. By the time you need those modifications, it may be a bit too late to pursue them. Aging in place involves a lot of planning ahead.

While staying in your home may be of comfort to you, your situation may be more isolating. You might currently find it easy to get together with friends and family, but if you are no longer able to drive or get out of the house on your own, you may experience feelings of sadness and loneliness down the line. While independent communities often provide transportation and have built-in companionship, you or your family may have to consider at-home care or additional help from relatives when you age in place.

Keep in mind that aging in place isn’t necessarily less expensive. The modifications you’ll have to make to your home can be quite costly, for one thing. You’ll also need to consider that you may need to pay for in-home care later on, particularly if you are diagnosed with more serious health issues after you’ve made your choice. Depending on your situation, you may end up saving money up front but pay more down the line when long-term care is required.

Senior living solutions are not one-size-fits-all. What’s ideal for one family may be a poor choice for another. But it’s important to take all of the pros and cons of independent senior living apartments, assisted living, and in-home care into account before making your decision.

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