Aging in place is a goal many older adults share as they contemplate retirement and where they’ll spend their golden years. There’s no disputing the allure of familiar surroundings and decades of memories associated with a longtime family home. For some seniors, aging in place is a perfectly workable solution — at least until it’s not. For others, frankly, it may not have been the safest, most practical plan in the first place.
Learning the pros and cons of aging in place will help you determine where you fall on the spectrum — and help you begin thinking about your long-term plans and care needs.
What is Aging in Place?
To put it simply, aging in place is staying put. You’re choosing to remain in your current home, safely and independently, as opposed to moving to another setting, such as a retirement community.
Each person approaches the idea of aging in place from a slightly different perspective. Some are in excellent health; some are starting to experience some health decline. Some know they’re safe and confident in their home; others wonder what improvements could make it easier to get around.
Ultimately, the pros and cons must be assessed on an individual basis.
- If you’re healthy and happy to continue maintaining your home, there’s really no reason to move, as long as you’re safely navigating your way through each day.
- Not everyone adapts to change well, and leaving your familiar home is a big change. Staying put alleviates that stress and worry.
- If your mortgage is paid off, in the short term, it may be less expensive to age in place (although depending on your long-term care needs, this may not be true for long).
- After living in a home for an extended period, you grow to consider the surrounding neighborhood and community extensions of your home.
- Staying put means continuing to enjoy the home you’ve created, including any custom renovations, decorating and other projects you’ve poured your heart into.
- Safety is a top concern; not all homes are designed to accommodate graceful aging.
- Your social circle tends to become smaller as you age, especially if you live alone at home. Numerous studies have shown decreased socialization plays a major factor in older adults’ mental and physical well-being.
- If you’re driving less these days, you may have a hard time getting around and taking care of the errands that make it possible to properly manage a household.
- Home maintenance chores may become more physically taxing as you age.
- If you find yourself in need of extra care, you may have to rush to make a decision about where to get such care.
Is Aging in Place Right for You?
The most honest answer is, “It depends.” Your health and the condition of your home are two of the biggest factors in determining whether your safety and well-being are protected as you age in place. You may be perfectly content to age gracefully in the home you know and love, but it’s not always a sure bet your house is on the same page.
To assess your home, ask a loved one or someone you trust to walk with you room by room and determine what safety risks, if any, are present now or could be in the future. Look for concerns like:
- Low toilets that may need to have seats raised or be replaced
- No walk-in shower option, which could pose a fall hazard later in life
- No grab bars in high-risk areas like the bathroom
- Stairs you must climb to access your complete living space (bedroom, living area, kitchen and bathroom)
- Appliances without safety features like auto-off controls
- Cabinets that offer limited access
- Clutter, rugs and other items that pose tripping hazards
- Poorly lit rooms that impede safe navigation
While many of these potential worries are correctable, they come at a cost, so you’ll need to consider the expense of making updates to protect your safety when you’re considering if aging in place is the best answer for you.
Surprising Facts About Senior Living
Clarifying a couple of common misperceptions about senior living may help you weigh your options.
Moving to a senior living community makes you more independent, not less.
Senior living communities offer a wide range of services and amenities that allow you greater freedom and independence than you had living at home. Maintenance-free living and housekeeping services mean you don’t have to worry about your home’s upkeep, and on days you don’t feel like cooking, you can enjoy chef-prepared meals. All that adds up to plenty of free time to live independently, whether that’s relaxing at home or taking part in community activities and programs designed specifically for seniors like you.
You can live in a senior living community and own your own home.
For some seniors, owning their home is a source of pride that represents a lifetime of hard work. What many don’t realize is that you don’t necessarily have to give up on your ownership dream to take advantage of a senior living community’s programming, services and amenities. In a retirement community like Rolling Green Village, you have the option to live in an apartment home or a stand-alone patio home; the latter you can own with a Fee Simple Ownership plan, which allows you to continue enjoying the benefits of homeownership while you grow your equity.
Explore the Possibilities
You may have always assumed you’d be aging in place, but now that you know how independent living in a senior living community can enhance your life, you may be curious to learn more about your options nearby. Rolling Green Village, located in the eastern suburbs of Greenville, South Carolina, is a community where you can find a home of your own and exercise your independence as you wish, all while taking advantage of the community’s convenient and thoughtful services and amenities.
What’s more, Rolling Green Village is a Life Plan Community, which means you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing if you need future care, you’ll get what you need, when you need it.
Contact us today to schedule a visit to our 175-acre campus, and discover how choosing our community could lead to an even more rewarding and engaging retirement than you expected. We’ll gladly arrange a private tour, or we can share details about upcoming events, such as our frequent lunch & learn events. At these get-togethers, we talk about senior living in general and the benefits of living in a community like Rolling Green Village — including our current offer of $20,000 off entrance fees on available apartment homes.