Over the past few decades, older adults have been increasingly worried about how to plan for their future. With the fate of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security hanging in the balance, older adults are struggling to figure out whether they should attempt aging in place in their current homes, or moving to assisted living senior communities. No matter which decision you make, the stark reality is that the cost of living as we age in America does not come cheap.
As you’re struggling to make the right decision for you and your family, there are some things to take into consideration when it comes to moving to assisted living vs. aging in place.
What to Know About Moving To Assisted Living
Assisted living senior communities have popped up across the country in direct response to the negative and clinical feel that often goes hand in hand with nursing homes. Assisted living still provides daily care and assistance to seniors, but with a greater emphasis on independence and personalized space. While moving to assisted living may seem attractive to some, to others it can be expensive and often trigger feelings of anxiety. It’s not always easy to choose to uproot yourself from your home and your friends to start over in the later part of your life, and it’s not uncommon for older adults who do move to assisted living to experience symptoms of depression.
One of the potential dangers of an assisted living facility is the lack of regulation and absence of government involvement you would typically find at a nursing home. But, due to scrutiny by local media and scandals about lack of adequate care, state government officials have been spurred into action. Most reputable assisted living communities follow strict guidelines, provide background checks for all employees, and have high standards for staff members.
Assisted living communities are also very expensive and not an option for those with limited funds. 99% of all residents are Caucasian and 78% are women. Usually not covered by insurance or Medicaid, those who do choose to move to assisted living need to come up with the cash. For this reason alone, many older adults are not moving to assisted living and that kind of lifestyle is becoming an option only for the wealthy.
For those who can afford it, however, many assisted living communities provide access to health, wellness, and exercise programs, as well as regular meals served in a common area, which increases the chances for socialization. All of these perks promote emotional, physical, and mental health.
What to Consider About Aging In Place
There are many reasons why moving to assisted living is simply not an option for aging seniors. For some, it’s financial and for others, it’s the emotional component of sticking to what they know. Aging in place, which is the term used for those who choose to remain in their own home as they age, is something that 87 percent of people over 65 would prefer, according to AARP.
Aging in place is now a much safer option than in the past, thanks to technological advancements such as medical alert systems. A medical alert system is a device that allows the user to trigger a call from help from anywhere inside—or outside—the home without needing access to a landline telephone or cell phone to place the call. Medical alert systems provide you with the peace of mind you need to age independently in your own home by ensuring speedy access to emergency medical or non-medical help when you need it. And as the technology behind medical alert systems continues to advance, aging in place will remain the most cost-effective way to age safely and independently.
In addition to making the investment in a medical alert system, an in-home caregiving agency can also be a great resource for those who are interested in aging in place. Skilled, trustworthy caregivers can be hard to find, which is why going through an in-home care agency is the best way to guarantee that you’ll be getting high-quality care. When in-home caregiving is paired with a medical alert system, older adults can successfully receive round the clock care without the hefty price tag of assisted living.
Live A Life Without Limits
No matter where you choose to age, choosing to do it on your own terms is the key to aging well. Medical Guardian’s goal is for older adults to be able to live a life without limits by providing them with affordable and reliable medical alert systems that allow for safety and security when aging in place.