Imagine your days full of activities, great food and the joy of talking and laughing with new friends. Consider the advantage of having a helping hand to assist you with daily tasks, and the health benefits of a strong wellness program. With all this, and the addition of private, maintenance-free residences, it’s not difficult to see why so many older adults choose to spend their later years living in a senior living community.
Unfortunately, many seniors and their families are hesitant to consider senior living as a viable option, thinking it too expensive and out of range of their budget. What they might not realize, however, is that senior living may be more affordable than they previously thought, especially when compared to the costs associated with remaining at home.
Expenses to Consider When Thinking About Senior Living
When deciding whether senior living is the right answer for you and your family, an important first step is to consider the cost. Many homeowners assume it is less expensive to remain living in their own homes as they age, but they often fail to include the cost of the services, amenities and programs included in the price of a senior living community in their comparison. To get a thorough idea of how the two compare, consider the following when qualifying the expenses you’ll need to cover directly if remaining at home:
- Your residence
Even if you no longer have a mortgage, there will still be expenses associated with living in a single-family dwelling, such as insurance, utilities and interior and exterior home maintenance. If renovations are needed to make the home more accessible and adaptable to changing needs as you age, you’ll need to consider those costs, as well.
The cost of community life includes a choice of residence that can be personalized to make your own. Many communities have various floor plans, layouts and additions like patios or balconies residents can select from so they feel comfortable and at home.
- Assistance with personal care
If personal assistance and help with household tasks is needed, you’ll need to determine the number of hours a week you’ll require in-home care, and calculate the costs using the hourly rate charged by a homecare agency. You might also want to include the cost of an adult day care program or respite care.
If you’re considering an assisted living community, help with dressing, bathing, grooming and other personal tasks is included in the cost of residency. In most senior living communities, housekeeping and laundry services are also included.
- Making new friendships
As we age, it can become more difficult to meet new people and form friendships. This can become even more of a challenge while living at home, as opportunities for making new social connections can be limited. Unfortunately, this can often lead to loneliness and isolation, both proven to have negative impacts on the physical and mental health of older adults. If you or your loved one is living at home, it might be necessary to obtain companionship services to alleviate or prevent these issues from occurring.
In contrast, life at a senior living community makes it easy to stay social, meet new people and discover new interests. Love to read? Join the community book club. An avid learner? Sign up for a lecture series and discussion group. No matter your preferences, the best senior living communities typically offer classes, clubs and programming that bring like-minded individuals together.
- Staying physically and mentally fit
Having regular, easy access to a fitness center or exercise classes can contribute greatly to the physical and mental health of older adults. Being able to interact with others while exercising can also play a big role in meeting wellness goals. However, this can be quite difficult to achieve while living at home, particularly if driving or transportation is an issue.
Senior living communities generally have a number of activities and classes designed to support their residents in staying physically fit. In addition, many have heated swimming pools or fitness centers with trained staff and equipment specifically designed for older bodies.
- Eating healthy
To understand one of the major costs of living at home, you’ll need to calculate the monthly cost of food and consider whether help will eventually be needed with shopping trips, preparing meals and cleanup. If direct personal assistance is needed with the act of eating itself, you’ll want to include the cost of an occupational therapist, as well.
Usually available to independent living residents, and almost always included in the cost of assisted living, senior living communities provide residents with creative and delicious cuisine made specifically to meet the nutritional needs of older adults. Several communities will have a variety of dining options to select from, giving residents more choice than they’d typically have living at home.
- Activities and social events
Staying active plays an influential role in remaining both physically and emotionally healthy. Unfortunately, this can be more of a challenge when living at home. You’ll need to locate different activities of interest on your own, as well as the transportation to get you there.
The best senior living communities have robust calendars full of activities, programs and events that afford their residents countless opportunities to stay social, active and engaged.
- Scheduled transportation
If you’re an aging adult who is living at home and no longer driving, you likely rely on family or friends to provide rides for appointments, shopping trips and errands. You may also need to pay a home care worker to provide you with transportation if your loved ones are unavailable to assist you, which can get quite expensive.
Scheduled transportation is typically included in the cost of living at a senior living community, which means there’s no need to worry about missing medical appointments, forgoing entertainment or missing out on a shopping trip.
- Maintenance-free living
If you live at home, the chores and costs of interior and exterior maintenance are entirely yours to manage. To get a good idea of existing (and potential!) expenses, you’ll need to calculate monthly and yearly expenses pertaining to repairs, regular upkeep (housework), landscaping, lawn care and more.
At a senior living community, all expenses associated with the maintenance of both your home and your community are included in the price of your residency.
- Safety and security
If you decide to remain at home, you may need to make repairs or modifications to improve the safety and security of your home. When comparing costs, consider whether you’ll need to purchase and install home alarm and/or personal alert systems.
Nearly all senior living communities have high-level safety and security measures in place to protect their residents, their possessions and the communities themselves. This is usually provided through security personnel, alarm systems and emergency call features.
Life at Eskaton Communities
The word Eskaton means “dawn of a new day.” In our communities, we see each day as an opportunity to enhance the lives of our residents. We’ve been serving the Sacramento region and Northern California for over 50 years.
The Eskaton Difference starts with our life-enriching programs and collaborative partnerships. With a national reputation for innovation, we focus on creating communities that provide our residents everything they need for purposeful living.
We invite you to visit one of our award-winning communities to discover some of the benefits we offer, such as:
- Private residences
- Delicious and nutritious meals
- Social opportunities to meet and make new friends
- Creative activities and therapies
- Fitness centers and exercise classes
- Housekeeping services
- Transportation services
- 24-hour staffing
- Free Wi-Fi
- And much, much more!
If you’re considering whether senior living could be the best choice for you or a loved one, we’re here to answer any questions you may have. We also invite you to download our complimentary information, Family Decision Toolkit: How to choose the right senior living community.
To schedule a personalized tour, call us at 1-866-ESKATON (or 1-866-375-2866) or visit eskaton.org.