Aging in Place? Nine Reasons Why it May Not Be Right for You
As we advise our clients, one key to maintaining your independence – and to avoid becoming a burden to your loved ones as you age – is to decide wisely when it comes to your housing options. Deciding where and how you’ll live in retirement is one of the most important choices you will make.
Increasingly, seniors say the same thing: they want to stay in their homes as long as they possibly can, ideally for the rest of their earthly lives. Housing experts call this “aging in place.” For some the decision is emotional – they want to live out their retirement years surrounded by the familiar qualities of the home they love. Others may have more practical reasons: their home is paid for, they will argue, and their routine is set – why go through the expense of moving? The bottom line for many seniors is that they associate staying in their home with maintaining their independence, something most aging adults want to do as long as possible.
But is aging in place always the right decision? We found this very helpful article on a website called Senior Living (www.seniorliving.com). The title says it all: “Nine Reasons Aging in Place May not be Right for You.” It provides helpful food for thought as you make your housing decisions. This article states the issue in straightforward terms. “The choice is this: Do you want to ‘age in place’…or would it be better to move into an environment that provides the ongoing resources and services you need to live a happy, secure and fulfilling life?” There are at least nine good reasons, says this article, why the latter choice may be the best choice.
The first two reasons involve health: physical and mental. Coming to grips with cognitive decline and physical frailty is extremely difficult for most seniors – yet the peace of mind that can come when they move to a well-chosen senior living facility brings huge benefits and can even help seniors live longer. Explaining this to an aging parent can be a real challenge, so we hope you’ll seek out the advice of an elder care attorney to provide solid advice and counsel. We would welcome the opportunity to serve you in that capacity.
The next few reasons why aging in place may not be your best choice involve some of the basic practical considerations of life. For example, you may be able to handle home maintenance now, but will you still be able to do those basic tasks five or ten years from now? Do you truly feel safe and secure living in your present home, especially if you live alone? Moving to a senior community means you’ll have help with the basic tasks of life, and your security will be taken care of. And home maintenance will be a thing of the past.
There are other reasons why staying put may not be in your best interests.
- Living in community means you’ll probably enjoy a much livelier social life. Often staying in your home can mean increased isolation as you age.
- You’ll probably have better access to no-cost (or low-cost) transportation by moving to a senior community, freeing you from the expense and worry of owning and maintaining a vehicle (assuming you are still driving).
- It has also been shown that seniors living alone can be far less diligent concerning their nutritional needs, something most senior living communities take care of for you.
The final issue concerns your present home itself. You may think you can age in place, and that your present house will accommodate you, but an expert may point out several eye-opening reasons why it’s simply impractical – or why it will be far more expensive than you think – to modify your home to make it aging-friendly. This is where expert advice can be extremely important. We can recommend experts to evaluate your home and estimate the cost and feasibility of making it senior-friendly.
So we encourage you to read the Senior Living article, not to discourage you from aging in place but to make certain you (or your aging parent) are considering all the pertinent pros and cons. That’s also why we strongly encourage you to attend one of our LifePlanning Seminars – a free event where you’ll learn valuable, practical information you can put to work immediately to help you plan for a secure, independent retirement. What housing choices are best for you? How will you involve your family in your retirement decisions? What legal and financial considerations and preparations are most important? How will you deal with rising healthcare costs? We deal with all these and more at the LifePlanning Seminar.
Click on the Upcoming Events tab for dates and times of upcoming seminars. We’ll look forward to seeing you soon!
(Originally reported at www.seniorliving.com)