The Pros and Cons of Moving to Senior Living vs Aging at Home

The Pros and Cons of Moving to Senior Living vs 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. 



When older adults first begin to plan for retirement, one question that almost always comes up is where to live. Aging in place at home is one potential solution. Moving to senior living is another.

There are definite pros and cons to consider with each. It’s important to take time to consider both.

The Pros and Cons of Moving to Senior Living

Older adults who make a move to senior living 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 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. There are wellness activities, life enrichment programs, and opportunities to socialize every day. Residents can take part in as many—or as few—as they chose.

Freedom and Peace of Mind

Another important part of moving to a senior living condominium or apartment is the freedom, security, and peace of mind it provides. Seniors are free from the drudgery of home ownership. No more worries about home repairs, lawn care, and other home-related tasks.

Residents are free from the stress, expense, and time involved with household upkeep.

A thoughtfully designed environment gives residents and their adult children peace of mind. Grab bars, handrails, and emergency call systems help seniors maintain their safety and independence.

Restaurant-Style Dining

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 a senior living community, well-balanced meals are the standard. Residents 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 seniors pay extra for at home are typically included: utilities, basic cable, meals, maintenance and repairs, transportation, and a variety of life enrichment and wellness programs.

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 is will be too expensive. Once they make the move, however, they find neither to be the case.

The Pros and Cons of Staying at Home

Many older adults say they want to remain at home as they grow older. But aging in place at home can be a much more complex decision than it first appears.

Sometimes it is because of a sentimental attachment to a house. It may be the place where they raised a family with a now-departed spouse. The memories keep a senior from making a move even when they know their quality of life will improve.

Other times seniors think staying 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. With home care services averaging $20 per hour, however, the costs can quickly add up.

Many factors come in to play:

  • How easily the home can be modified to make it safer—and at what cost—if an older adult develops 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 it is to access transportation is another factor to consider. If family and friends or reliable, economical transportation services are available, staying at home might be a short-term solution. Rural seniors might find a lack of transportation to be a barrier for getting to the grocery store, medical appointments, and tending to other errands.
  • Close proximity of family and friends in case of emergency or if the senior needs support with personal care. As we grow older, our needs for assistance can change quickly. And seniors often need help at random hours throughout the day and night. This can make planning tough.

Finally there is the quality of life issue to consider. Seniors living who live alone might battle loneliness and feel isolated. Not only does this impact quality of life, it is proven to have a negative impact health.

In the medical community, loneliness is classified as a major health risk for seniors. It contributes to health conditions such as obesity, depression, diabetes, and heart disease. In fact, loneliness can increase a senior’s risk for dying by as much as 14%.

We know we’ve given you a lot to think about. If you have more questions about the pros and cons of senior living, find a community near you and our team will be happy to help!

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