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Why Seniors Choose Assisted Living Over Aging in Place

Assisted living caregiver with senior man in wheelchair

According to a recent study, 83 percent of adults over age 50 say they plan to live in their homes as they age. And who can blame them? There’s great appeal to living independently in a well-loved home, close to friends and family, where you know your neighbors and the local grocery store cashier. Unfortunately, the realities of aging can disrupt that happy vision. Knowing the most common challenges seniors face as they age can help you make an informed decision about aging in place vs. choosing an assisted living community.

Difficulty with Daily Living Tasks

Age and infirmity can make routine self-care more of a challenge. When dressing, bathing, managing medications and preparing meals become difficult, outside help is necessary. 

If you:

  •         Age in place, you may need daily help from family or friends or will need to pay a home health aide for at least a few hours a day. A Genworth study found that in 2021 the national median cost for home health aide services was $27 per hour.
  •         Choose assisted living, you have staff available around the clock to assist with activities of daily living. And, with nutritious and delicious meals prepared for you, you no longer have to worry about cooking and cleaning up in the kitchen.

Burdens of Home Maintenance

Everyday chores like cleaning, mowing the lawn, changing air filters and emptying the dishwasher can become challenging if your physical abilities decline. Even more demanding are the occasional house emergencies like a leaky roof or a clogged drain. 

If you:

  •         Age in place, you may need to rely on a lawn-care service, housekeeper, handyman or family members to take care of routine tasks and to manage larger repair projects.
  •         Choose assisted living, you can enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle. Staff takes care of maintenance and housekeeping, so you don’t have to worry about routine home chores.

Limited Mobility

Declining health can make it harder to climb stairs, get in and out of the bathtub and leave the house. Plus, as seniors get older, they’re more likely to need a first-floor bedroom, kitchen and full bathroom.

If you:

  •         Age in place, you may need to make home modifications, such as installing grab bars in the shower, or a ramp outside the home and a stair lift between floors. Depending on how extensive the adjustments are, costs can range from $10,000 to $100,000.
  •         Choose assisted living, you can take advantage of an environment built to accommodate changing needs. Assisted living communities are designed for accessibility, making them safe and convenient.

Restricted Transportation

Slowed response time, frequent scrapes with the mailbox or decreased confidence behind the wheel can be signs that it’s time to stop driving. So how do you get groceries, meet up with friends and go to the library? 

If you:

  •         Age in place, you may have to rely on friends, neighbors, family members, public transportation or ride-share services — at least until driverless cars become more reliable. Home delivery of groceries and prescription medications can also help ensure that your basic needs are met, even if you can’t leave the house.
  •         Choose assisted living, you have reliable access to scheduled transportation, so you can get to medical appointments and local stores whenever you need to.

Isolation and Loneliness

Older adults are more likely to live alone, to suffer the loss of family and friends, to be hard of hearing and to be housebound — all factors that contribute to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Studies show that seniors who live alone may experience anxiety, fear and feelings of uselessness.  

If you:

  •         Age in place, you may find your loneliness exacerbated as your circle of friends and family diminishes. Family and neighbors may become the hub of your social life, helping you stay engaged and interested.
  •         Choose assisted living, you’ll have new neighbors next door and new friends down the hall. Planned outings and social events ensure you’re meeting people and engaging in fresh experiences.

Handling the Unexpected

Each year, over 3 million seniors visit emergency rooms because of falls. These and other unanticipated events make it important for seniors to have an emergency plan in place. 

If you:

  •         Age in place, you may need to have an emergency response system installed in your home. Or you may use smart-home devices like a voice-activated home assistant. Having a neighbor or family member on call  can be an important back-up plan.
  •         Choose assisted living, you have round-the-clock staff to check in regularly and provide assistance if an emergency arises. You’ll also have a care plan in place that can be updated if your needs change.   

Maintaining Independence

Assisted living communities are designed to help residents live with as much independence — and fulfillment — as possible. Residents are often surprised to realize they feel more free in assisted living than they did at home where loneliness, household chores and difficulty with daily tasks created stress and anxiety. At Oaks Senior Living, we take pride in our mission to provide assisted living residents with the services they need to enjoy meaningful connections, a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Visit one of our senior living communities today to find out more.

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