The Pros and Cons of Aging at Home

The-Pros-and-Cons-of-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. 

blog-family-decision-guide

 

When older adults first begin to plan for retirement, one question that almost always comes up is where to live. Most people naturally gravitate toward aging at home, assuming it’s the best option, but that’s not always the case. That’s why it’s important to consider retiring to a senior living community, as well.

Check out the pros and cons to consider with each option here.

The Pros and Cons of Moving to Senior Living

Older adults who have made a move to a senior living community while they are still active and independent almost always say they wish they’d made the transition sooner. A better quality of life is one of the most immediate benefits.

Live Inspired

Residents of our senior living communities benefit from inspired living. It’s a philosophy of life that nurtures the body, mind, and spirit. Friendship and leisure pursuits are always close at hand. You’ll find wellness activities, life enrichment programs, and opportunities to socialize every day. Residents can take part in as many—or as few—as they choose.

Freedom and Peace of Mind

Another important part of moving to senior living versus aging at home is the freedom, security, and peace of mind you’ll enjoy. Older adults are free from the drudgery of home ownership with no more worries about home repairs and lawn care. You’ll have freedom from the stress, expense, and time involved with household upkeep, too.

A thoughtfully-designed environment also gives residents and their adult children peace of mind with grab bars, handrails, and emergency call systems to help maintain safety and independence.

Restaurant-Style Dining

When aging at home, older adults often lose interest in cooking. Many say it seems like too much trouble for just one or two people. As a result, they develop unhealthy eating habits. In senior living communities like ours, well-balanced meals are the standard. You’ll enjoy restaurant-style dining and a variety of menu options while socializing with friends.

Value-Based Pricing

Senior living communities can also be a smart financial move. The services and amenities most older adults pay extra for when aging at home like: utilities, basic cable, meals, maintenance and repairs, and transportation are typically included. A variety of life enrichment and wellness programs are also included in the cost.

The Bottom Line on Senior Living

The good news is there is very little downside associated with a move to senior living. Before moving, older adults often worry they will have to sacrifice their freedom or that senior living will be too expensive. Once they make the move, however, they find neither to be the case.

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The Pros and Cons of Aging at Home

Many older adults say they want to remain at home as they age. Sometimes it is because of a sentimental attachment to their house. It may be the place where they raised a family with a now-departed spouse. The memories may keep an older adult from making a move even when they know their quality of life will improve.

Other times seniors think aging at home and enlisting the services of a home care agency when they need help is less expensive. Because the home is mortgage-free, there is a misperception that the costs will be lower. However, with home health aide services averaging $27 per hour according to the most recent Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the costs can quickly add up. As such, aging at home can be a much more complex decision than it first appears.

Considerations for Aging at Home

  • How easily can the home be modified to make it safer—and at what cost—if you develop mobility problems (e.g., creating a barrier-free shower, widening doorways, creating an accessible kitchen)? If the home is newer, home modifications might be easier. For an older home, these types of renovations can be cost-prohibitive.
  • How easy is it to access transportation? If family and friends or reliable, economical transportation services are available, aging at home might be a short-term solution. However, those in rural areas might find a lack of transportation to be a barrier for getting to the grocery store, medical appointments, and tending to other errands.
  • Are family and friends in close proximity in case of emergency or if the you need support with personal care? As we grow older, our needs for assistance can change quickly. And older adults often need help at random hours throughout the day and night. This can make planning tough.
  • Where will you have the best quality of life? Older adults who live alone often battle loneliness and feel isolated. Not only does this impact quality of life, it is proven to have a negative impact health.

The Bottom Line on Aging at Home

Aging at home definitely works for some people. However, quite simply, the lifestyle in senior living —from staying active to social and enrichment opportunities to convenience and amenities to peace of mind to value—is hard to match at home, particularly when living alone.

For more information, download our Stay or Go Guide today! Or contact us today to schedule a tour.