Aging in Place vs. Assisted Living

If you’re a retiree entering your “golden years”, it’s important to start thinking about what type of lifestyle you desire as you continue to age, and how to plan for it accordingly. Specifically, this should include whether you want to stay put and age in place in the comfort of your own home or have access to the resources you need with assisted living in a community setting. Without taking the time to contemplate your wishes and plans, including where you’d like to live and what should happen in the event of a chronic illness or disability, you could be left with someone else making these decisions for you. Determining this now can give you greater control over your personal independence and your quality of life. 

When you’re contemplating aging in place versus assisted living, here are three of the key factors to consider during your decision process.

Social Engagement with Others

For many seniors, the familiarity and comforts of home are often enough to convince them to stay put and live out their remaining years where they live. However, one of the biggest drawbacks of living at home is often the lack of social engagement. Even with family, relatives, and friends nearby, their busy lives can often mean regular visits become quite sparse. This can end up leaving seniors at home in a very isolated environment.

Social engagement is vital for our health, and it’s even more crucial for the physical and mental wellbeing of seniors. With assisted living places, seniors live within a community where they can interact with others, partake in planned activities and outings, and enjoy talking and socializing on a daily basis.

Around-the-Clock Care

Health concerns and mobility issues become a much greater concern as we continue to enter those golden years. And a majority of seniors at some point will require care and assistance with day-to-day living. Staying put at home means you will likely have to hire an in-home caregiver. But unlike assisted living, this can also mean that you won’t have access to around-the-clock care in the event of an emergency. So even though living at home can feel like the best option, it’s imperative to really consider the reality of the aging process and which decision will be the best and safest option for maintaining your quality of life.  

Home Modifications

Are you prepared to make certain modifications to your home? You may not feel the need to worry about that now, but dealing with a sudden disability or illness can require extensive alterations, such as widening door frames, installing ramps or a chair lift, modifying the bath, and so forth. If a sudden disability does occur, you’ll need to be prepared to perform alterations, which can be costly. On the other hand, assisted living facilities will have everything already in place, all bundled into one monthly fee with no need to start contemplating major renovations.

As an aging retiree, it’s important to contemplate the type of lifestyle you wish to have, and take action to prepare for it. But it’s also vital to consider the reality of your decision and whether it will truly offer the quality of life you had envisioned. Family and friends will be busy, you may not have the around-the-clock care you’ll need if something suddenly happens, and certain modifications may be required in the future, which can cut significantly into your financial savings. 

If you’re struggling to plan it all out for yourself or an aging loved one, contact us at the Beacon Group of Assante Financial Management. Our financial advisors will sit down discuss your options and help you plan for the future that you’re envisioning. Get in touch with us today!