Should I Live Independently or Sell My Home and Move Into Independent Living?
If you are currently a healthy and active senior adult, you may be reluctant to consider how age may impact your ability to live alone. But now is the perfect time to evaluate your situation. Doing so can help you make a choice between living independently or selling your home and moving into independent living. Here are some concerns to ponder as you make the decision.
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Living in your own home has definite benefits. For one thing, you are in a familiar environment, which can go a long way toward keeping your cognitive functions in top shape. You’ll also likely be more comfortable, particularly if you live near your adult children and grandchildren, and they routinely come to visit. On the downside, you are at a greater risk of becoming isolated, which can up your chances of depression and accelerate a decline in health.
Aging in place is an ideal option if you are healthy overall and dealing with the normal changes that come with age. Kaiser Permanente explains this might include losing bone and muscle mass in your 70s and, especially for men, hearing impairments around the same time. In this case, you may be perfectly happy at home but, at some point, you may realize the need for a care service that offers things like meal preparation, errand running, and light housekeeping.
Many people have an unfortunate vision of independent living. It is not, contrary to what the media might suggest, a sterile hospital environment with sad seniors sitting alone outside of their rooms. Instead, independent — and assisted — living are often better compared to resort communities. Modern Retirement reports that independent living is typically open to those in the 55 and older crowd. In this type of situation, you may live in a single-family home, a townhouse, or an apartment. You’ll enjoy daily housekeeping, fitness classes, and meal preparation.
While independent living is ideal for the healthiest among us, when we need more care than they provide, assisted living is a step up in services. An assisted living center provides virtually everything an independent living campus does while offering additional assistance with things like bathing and eating, among many others.
When you choose to live at home, you have all of your normal bills – property taxes, food, utilities, upkeep, maintenance – as well as any additional expenses related to your care. With independent and assisted living communities, all of these are covered under a single monthly price. Medicare doesn’t cover senior care outside of medically necessary nursing home stays. You will need to be prepared to cover these costs yourself, using either long-term care insurance, the equity from your home, pensions, retirement funds, or your savings.
Which Is Best?
Only you can answer that question, but you will have to ask yourself many others before coming to a conclusion. One thing you must consider is whether or not you have chronic conditions that need continuous care. Think back to your parents and grandparents as well. Did they suffer from dementia or severe cardiovascular or mobility issues? Digging into your family history is an easy way to prepare yourself for issues that may arise later on.
When you reach your 70s and beyond, you are past your physical prime. Because of this, you may need an extra set of hands to keep you safe and healthy. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy all that life has to offer. By bringing someone into your home that can help you, you can extend your independent years, perhaps indefinitely. When you need more attention, there are options for that as well. The choice is yours, and being diligent in your self-assessment is the best way to decide where you will live out your senior years.
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