If you're starting to research which is better between aging in place and assisted living for you or a loved senior, you're taking the right step. There's no better time to start than now.
However, it must be noted that both senior living systems have their benefits and drawbacks, depending on specific factors and your preferences.
This article breaks it all into pieces to help you see what both options offer and make more informed decisions for your well-being or that of your beloved senior. Let's get into it.
Definition of Aging in Place and Assisted Living
To clearly understand what both terms offer, we must get the definitions out of the way. That should give you a clear picture of what to expect.
Aging in Place
Aging in place, also known as independent living or in-home care, is a system of senior living that allows older adults to age wherever they feel comfortable.
It refers to the concept of seniors or older people choosing to remain living in their own homes or their current living environment as they age rather than moving to a nursing home, assisted living communities, or other institutional settings.
The idea of aging in place reflects the desires of older people to maintain a sense of familiarity, independence, peace of mind, and control over their lives as they age.
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A nursing home or assisted living is the opposite of aging in place. It refers to a living arrangement where older adults move into a senior living facility where they're cared for by skilled nurses.
These nursing facilities provide personalized care, safety and security, medical assistance, feeding, and social activities.
Assisted living is a senior living option that has been in effect for several decades and is one of the most prominent options to date.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Aging in Place and Assisted Living
To help you further understand the difference between aging at home or assisted living facilities, let's break down the benefits and downsides of both options.
Benefits of Aging in Place
An AARP survey found that more than 80 percent of seniors want to remain at home as they age. Many aging adults choose to age in place for the following reasons.
- Familiar Environment: Compared to senior living communities where everyone is a visitor in the nursing home, aging in place allows you to live in a familiar environment.
- Independence and Autonomy: One of the significant differences between assisted living and aging in place is the ability to maintain personal routines and choices without relying on anyone.
- Emotional Well-being: Aging in place affords older people the benefit of reduced stress from staying in a familiar environment. Older adults prefer to age where they can get emotional support from family and friends.
- Cost Considerations: Living at home means you don't have to pay excessive facility fees and institutional expenses.
- Personal care: Seniors living at home can also enjoy individualized care plans catering to their needs and preferences. Care can be tailored to their unique health and lifestyle requirements.
The majority of the aging population wants to have their care at home while enjoying their privacy, independence, and peaceful daily living.
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Drawbacks of Aging in Place
- Safety Concerns.
- Lack of Activities.
- Resistance to Change.
- Transportation Challenges.
Benefits of Assisted Living
- Professional Care and Support: Assisted living provides many seniors with adequate nursing care and support from expert nurses. These services include memory care, physical and mental health support, and many more.
- Social Interaction: Compared to live-in care solutions, assisted living services help seniors feel the warmth of fellow seniors for socialization and fun daily living activities.
- Maintenance-Free Living: Assisted living residents don't have to worry about home modifications and other maintenance fees. The company maintains the care environment, as well as laundry, meal preparations, and medications.
- Safety and Security: Care homes provide emergency response systems and trained personnel that help reduce the risks of accidents and falls.
Drawbacks of Assisted Living
The cons of aging in a continuing care retirement community may not be the reality for everyone. However, this list shows a clear picture of what you should expect.
- Loss of independence.
- Privacy concerns.
- Changes in routine.
- Assisted living care can be expensive.
- Loss of familiar surroundings.
- Limited personalization.
- Limited freedom.
- Health changes.
- Challenge finding the perfect assisted living facilities for you.
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Which is The Better Option: Aging in Place Vs Assisted Living?
Deciding between assisted living vs living alone at home should depend on personal preferences, cost considerations, and other factors, as discussed below.
A. Health and Care Needs
Living in an assisted living home may provide you with the necessary care you need to live a healthy life as you age. You'll enjoy the services of seasoned professionals caring for your health and wellness.
Aging in your home also provides the same quality health services to support aging in place healthily.
Some home care options include the services of geriatric care managers to create long-term care plans to keep your health in check.
B. Financial Considerations
If you're considering assisted living for yourself or an aging loved one, you must prepare for the expensive costs that come with it.
The National Center for Assisted Living released a report that stated that the median cost of an assisted living community can be as high as $54,000 annually. A personal room in a nursing home can also cost as much as $108,000.
The cost of aging in place is usually more affordable, as no monthly payments for privacy and independence are not required.
However, the comfort of home care services also comes with the cost of home maintenance and the help of specialized professionals.
C. Emotional and Social Factors
Socializing can become challenging as we age, which is where the assisted living industry thrives. Dwelling in assisted living communities means sharing a common space with fellow older adults bonding over relatable stories and activities.
However, living alone can also save you from the constant invasion of your personal space.
Additionally, if you live with or near your family and friends, you may prefer to age in place, allowing you to access those you love and care about easily.
D. Family and Support System
Seniors may also need help with the activities of daily living, and this point might tilt toward assisted living options.
However, aging in place isn't a lonely journey. With the help of a professional home care services provider like Kendal At Home, you'll enjoy the required support system to help you lead a fulfilled and independent adult life.
Aging in place is the decision to continue living with your family and loved ones. Living with people who genuinely care about you while also enjoying the tender, loving care of professional home care experts.
Choosing between aging in place and assisted living has no one-size-fits-all answer. Each option comes with its own set of benefits and considerations.
Aging in place allows older adults to stay in their homes for as long as they want. It offers the comfort of familiar surroundings, a sense of independence, and the preservation of routines, but it requires careful planning and adaptations for safety.
On the other hand, assisted living provides professional care, social opportunities, and relief from home maintenance, yet it involves a change in environment and huge costs. The key is to evaluate personal needs, preferences, and available support.
Ultimately, the choice should prioritize the individual's well-being, safety, and happiness, ensuring that they can age gracefully and maintain the highest possible quality of life.
Do you want the peace of mind and comfort of living in your home? Speak with our experts today! to discover how we can help you.