By: Hazel Bridges, Guest Contributor
Hazel Bridges aims to provide health and wellness resources for aging seniors. She’s a breast cancer survivor. She challenges herself to live life to the fullest and inspire others to do so as well.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of The Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging.
Aging in Community
Aging in place is becoming increasingly popular, primarily because many seniors want to maintain their lifestyles in their communities. Remaining at home not only costs less than an assisted living facility or a nursing home, but there are also other benefits as well. Read on to learn more about them, along with the options you can choose from to age in your community.
Benefits of Aging in Community
Independence is an important benefit for many seniors who want to remain in their own homes. One factor that signals senior independence is the ability to control daily decisions, such as when you eat or do your laundry.
Remaining in place is also beneficial for slowing the advancement of memory loss. There truly is no place like home, and there’s a certain comfort that comes from familiar things surrounding you.
The ultimate benefit is the price. The rising cost of elder care makes an assisted living facility or a nursing home cost-prohibitive for many seniors on a fixed income and with little savings. For example, the yearly average for a nursing home with a semi-private room exceeds $82,000.
The ultimate decision regarding whether to stay in your own home often involves two important factors: your finances and your health. Considering both factors is essential for finding the right solution that fits your needs and your budget.
Senior Roommates and Village Networks
Sharing a home can be a healthy and comfortable way to age in community. “As a matter of fact, a growing number of baby boomers are turning to shared living as an aging in place housing option. A 2014 AARP analysis of census data found approximately 132,000 households and 490,000 women over the age of 50 living with non-romantic peers,” HomeAdvisor explains.
The right roommate can provide the social interaction you need for a healthier life. Social isolation is a serious health risk and can lead to depression, heart disease, cognitive decline, and even early mortality.
Additionally, a roommate helps with the bills and shares responsibility. Whether you agree to split bills down the middle or exchange a room for help around your home, it’s a win-win for both of you. And while a roommate closer to your age is often the first choice, don’t rule out other roommate options, such as a local college student.
Village-to-Village Networks are another option that allows you to remain in your home. A membership-driven organization, the networks connect you to volunteers who assist you with certain needs. Volunteers can drive you to appointments and connect you with services. They do not, however, provide medical care.
Remaining in your current home might not serve as a viable option. If you decide to relocate to a facility or a smaller home closer to medical care or family, be sure to shop around. Ask friends and family to help you with online research regarding pricing and safe neighborhoods.
According to Zillow, the average price of a home in the United States is around $227,000. However, where you decide to live affects what you will pay. For example, a home in Idaho averages $189,800, while a home in Washington is valued at $334,000.
Downsizing is often described by many as liberating, leaving you more time to enjoy life. If you decide to relocate, decluttering makes good sense. Getting rid of items you no longer use can lift a good deal of weight off your shoulders. The process also forces you to empty drawers, explore forgotten closets, and to pass along family heirlooms to others.
Remaining at home can be a wonderful way to spend your senior years. Explore all your options before making any commitments, and seek input from those you trust. Finding the right solution for your needs is possible, thanks to the emerging trends and options for aging in community.