Funding Your Future: Cost of Senior Living versus Aging at Home

Funding Your Future: Cost of Senior Living versus Aging at Home

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



It’s no surprise that the majority of people over age 65 prefer to live at home. One of the key reasons is the perception that staying home is less expensive. With worries of outliving savings, many believe senior living communities are financially out of reach. What may surprise you, however, is that’s often not the case. Let’s take a look at the cost of senior living versus aging at home.

4 Things to Consider when Comparing Options

Is your home increasing or decreasing in value?

If you live in a thriving neighborhood, you may have the opportunity to sell and take the cash value out of your home to invest in stocks, bonds and annuities that can grow in value.

If your home is decreasing in value, selling now may help you avoid a loss.

Cost of Outsourcing Services

Outsourcing help with day-to-day tasks is a common solution for those living at home, but the cost may be more than you realize especially if it’s needed long term. Personal care, meal preparation and housekeeping typically cost an approximately $20 per hour. In addition, yard maintenance can range from $130 – 400 per month.

If you need assistance with transportation and don’t live near bus or subway lines, options like Uber or Lyft are cheaper than taxis but may still cost $13 per trip on average.

Safety and Security Investments

With falls being a top health risk for seniors, it’s important to ensure your home is as safe as possible with grab bars which can cost up to $300. If you use mobility devices you may need to make your home more accessible. Installing wheelchair ramps can cost between $1,000 to as much as $15,000 and widening a doorway can range between $500 and $1,000 if there are no structural issues.

An emergency response system can be a lifeline for seniors, particularly if you live alone. This wearable call button puts you in touch with a dispatcher to contact the appropriate first responder and/or a friend or family member in the event emergency help is needed. Costs for these systems can range from $19 to $79 per month on average.

If you’re on oxygen or dialysis, it’s also a good idea to have a backup generator in the event of a power outage. Costs can range from $380 for a portable generator to up to $14,500 for a whole-house unit.

Hidden Considerations

Even if your mortgage is paid off, be careful not to overlook expenses such as of food, utilities, property taxes, insurance and entertainment. These all factor into your total cost of living at home and must be considered for a true apples to apples comparison to senior living.

In addition to the dollar amount, make sure to factor in the value of the positive impact on your quality of life. Isolation and depression are common among seniors living at home, particularly when living alone, and can negatively impact your overall health and well-being.

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The Value of Senior Living

The cost of a senior living community can vary by geographic location as well as level of care with the average monthly cost for a private, one bedroom in assisted living of $4,000.

But that cost comes with a tremendous value: peace of mind. The lifestyle in senior living is worry-free. There are no unexpected expenses, no chores or maintenance as these communities offer housekeeping, laundry services, restaurant-style dining and even transportation included in the monthly fee. What’s more they are designed specifically for seniors with safety features as standard.

It’s an environment that truly fosters independence, even more so than at home with just the right amount of daily support and a full calendar of social and enrichment opportunities.  All on sprawling campuses with lush green landscaping, beautifully decorated interiors and a host of amenities.

There are also options to help offset the cost of senior living such as the Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit, long-term care insurance and even life insurance conversion.

For more information, schedule a tour of a community near you today!

Sources: GenworthAngie’s

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