Comparing Assisted Living and Staying at Home
The choice to move to an assisted living community or stay at home is often complex. But, as you or your loved one ages, your location has an impact on many aspects of daily life. Where you live matters. From social contact to costs, it’s important to think about how your choice affects the factors most important to you.
First of all, be sure you know all that an assisted living community offers. Then, compare these benefits with the benefits of staying at home. By getting the full picture, you’ll feel more confident in your choice.
Time and Energy
When staying at home, you or your loved one keeps much of the responsibility for day-to-day tasks. Consider the current time and energy you put into home upkeep, cooking, cleaning, self-care, and yard work. Are you or your loved one able to easily perform daily tasks? If not, is a family member nearby to help?
At a community, you’re able to let others help with food prep, home repairs, and yard care. Often, this reduces worry and leaves you more time and energy to enjoy other activities.
If you’re unsure about assisted living, you may be putting off the decision. However, even if you feel best staying at home now, things may change in the long-term. Think about how your choice affects your future.
For example, many people wait until an emergency or major life event to consider assisted living. The decision may feel rushed and add the stress of an already hectic time. If you choose assisted living earlier, it provides more stability. Even if you have a life change, you’ll already be in a place that provides the care you need.
According to the AARP, 1 in 5 Americans 65 and older feel socially isolated. In addition to affecting your overall feeling of well-being, social connections impact your health. In fact, a study by Brigham Young University showed loneliness affects health as much as other common conditions like obesity.
Many times, those who stay at home don’t have as many chances for social connection. If you or your loved one feel isolated, a change of location may help. Assisted living has the benefit of pre-planned activities. It also helps keep seniors connected by ensuring others at the same age and stage of life are always nearby.
Staying at home may make you feel more independent in some ways. However, it also means you may not have someone close who can help when needed. For many seniors, staying at home actually limits activities. For example, the National Council on Aging reports the fear of falling often causes older adults to limit what they do at home.
With assisted living, built-in amenities and transportation allow more freedom. Seniors often don’t want to worry friends or family by asking for help. The ability to go places or do things without depending on another person’s schedule helps seniors feel independent.
To compare the costs of assisted living and staying at home, you’ll want to list out all current expenses. At home, costs not only include monthly utilities or groceries but also expenses like home repairs. Also, consider the time or support provided by family caregivers.
Assisted living typically includes all bills and many amenities in one single payment. Once you add up all of the costs of staying at home, you may find its very close to the cost of assisted living. Plus, with assisted living, you’ll be saving time and resources.