If asked, “Would you like to age in place at home or move to senior living?” it’s easy to guess how most people will answer. We get it! Home is your comfort zone, the place where you’ve built a lifetime of memories and where you feel you belong. But in nixing the idea of senior living without consideration, you could be missing out on benefits that would truly enhance your life. Here’s how to objectively determine if home versus senior living is best for you.
Consider Your Current Needs and Wants
First, take some time to consider where things stand now at home. An honest assessment can help you pinpoint areas in which you may need additional support and/or areas in which you’d like to have more opportunities.
- Do you have health issues or concerns?
- Are chronic conditions becoming harder to manage?
- Do you have cognitive challenges or concerns?
- Are you concerned about falling at home or other safety issues at home?
- Do you have mobility challenges?
- Would you like to have more social opportunities?
- Do you have as many active friendships as you’d like?
- Would you like to spend more time pursuing hobbies?
- Are you seeking more purpose in life?
- Can you still perform daily activities and tasks independently?
- Can you still maintain the house and/or yard or do you want to?
- Do you worry about nutrition and/or is it becoming more difficult to prepare healthy, fresh meals?
- Do you worry about managing your medication without errors?
- Has driving become more of a challenge?
What’s Most Important to You
Based on your answers, you can now prioritize what’s most important to you, for example:
- Must-haves could be outdoor space, a private residence, having your pet with you, having someone else take care of the cooking, daily chores and home maintenance.
- Preferences could be staying in the same part of town, being near a park or having the ability to walk to shopping and dining. Other preferences might include easy access to social activities, clubs and outings.
- Nice-to-haves might include private transportation, access to a gym or fitness classes, options to pursue hobbies you enjoy or to learn new ones.
Your Options at Home vs. Senior Living
By identifying your needs and wants and prioritizing what’s most important, ideally, it’s easier to objectively compare home versus senior living to see which would work best for you, not just today but tomorrow as well. Luckily, there are options for each:
- Home Health Care – Provided on an hourly, as needed or 24/7 live-in basis these services help you live independently at home and typically include personal care, household chores, cooking, transportation, occupational, physical and/or speech therapy.
- Adult Day Care – Offers a safe environment during normal business hours, five days a week with services that may include meals and snacks, health monitoring, medication assistance, fitness and educational programs and social activities.
In Senior Living
- Independent Living – A lifestyle experience for active seniors who are able to live independently, but seek a vibrant social community free of the hassles of chores and home upkeep.
- Assisted Living – This lifestyle experience empowers independence with just the right amount of support with daily tasks from professionally-trained staff and an active, engaging environment.
- Memory Care – Specifically designed care to nurture and support those with Alzheimer’s and dementia in a secure, comfortable environment.