Pros and Cons of Seniors Living Alone at Home
When retirees talk about wanting to stay in their homes as long as possible—or aging in place, as it’s often known—the feeling is understandable. Homes are not simply physical structures; they are havens, spaces where people find comfort and rest, and have spent years creating memories.
For some, living at home may be a more convenient option, but increased feelings of loneliness and the stressors of maintaining a house usually accompany this choice. That’s one reason a senior living community can provide you with a lifestyle that provides natural opportunities for enrichment and connection.
What Are the Benefits of Aging in Place?
As with any senior housing arrangement, there are pros and cons to older adults choosing to live at home as they age. To start, there is something comforting about residing in the same place for years. You can continue investing in the property you’ve loved and maintained in a neighborhood you’re deeply familiar with. If you’re healthy, active, and close to family, you might not have a compelling reason to leave your current surroundings.
In addition, if you’ve already paid off your house, continuing to live on the property may also make financial sense. If necessary, you can add features to make your home more accessible, enabling you to age there safely and securely.
Later, if you require more support and healthcare services, you can hire an in-home care service, housekeeper, or other professional help with challenging tasks where and when needed.
What Are the Benefits of Retirement Communities?
The main benefits of senior living communities are the on-site facilities, amenities, and services. Some independent living communities are designed to offer healthcare services and maintain a nursing staff, whereas others do not. Instead, the focus is on preventative wellness and socialization, which can delay or avert more acute physical and mental health needs. Assisted living communities provide various levels of support with activities of daily living as needed.
Retirement communities in Washington State allow you to attend fitness classes, explore the local area, attend events and activities with your peers, and cultivate your intellectual, emotional, and physical health in a myriad of ways.
Most retirement communities also provide support and resources, such as transportation and communal facilities, enabling you to plan your activities and programs. The relationships you develop with your neighbors and peers are one of the most valuable aspects of senior living.
One of the biggest fears about retirement communities is making the transition. Downsizing and moving your life from a home where you’ve resided for potentially decades to a new community can seem daunting. However, once you have settled in, you can develop new friendships and discover how your new surroundings enhance your quality of life.
Costs of Aging in Place vs. Senior Living Communities
While it may seem that independent living communities are more expensive than an older adult living at home, there are several less-obvious costs to consider for a more accurate comparison.
Yes, you pay monthly rent at a senior living facility, which (for some) may be more than your current mortgage or rent. However, the monthly fee includes a wide range of amenities that living alone doesn’t afford. You have access to on-site parking, gardens and walking trails, a fitness center and pool, on-site dining facilities, and more.
Property taxes and homeowner’s insurance are other expenses you will eliminate with a move. For example, the median property tax in King County, Washington is $3,572 per year for a home worth the median value of $407,700.
It’s also important to look at expenses that will disappear when you move into a senior living community. For example, even if you are in good health and living independently, you may be paying someone to help with landscaping, maintenance, laundry, or other household chores. In some cases, family members step in to assist with these tasks. In a senior living community, maintenance and housekeeping services are included in your monthly rent.
One significant aspect of aging in place is the health and safety risks and lower variety and quality of life associated with living alone. Safe, at-home senior care can mitigate some of these concerns but must be factored into the cost of living at home.
How to Choose the Right Senior Living Situation
There is no universal or easy answer when deciding between living at home or in a senior living community. Everyone is different and has unique physical, mental, social, and emotional needs. Therefore, as you decide what course of action is right for you, consider your current situation and what changes may occur down the road.
If you decide a senior living community is the way to go, Village Green Senior Living offers both independent living and assisted living, along with a wide range of campus amenities and community spaces you can enjoy as you settle into your new home.
We invite you to visit our website to explore our senior living communities or contact us online to learn how Village Green Senior Living can benefit your lifestyle!