Why More People Are Turning to Senior Living Facilities
Many caregivers find themselves torn when it becomes clear that their parents or the senior that they’re taking care of needs more help than a traditional living situation can provide. On one hand, the drive to preserve the senior’s independence is strong — many people have such strong ties to their family home that they can’t imagine living anywhere else.
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Unfortunately, the reality is that these family homes are often much too large to be kept up by one or two people living alone. They also come with large expenses like utilities and repairs that may be too onerous for someone living on retirement benefits or Social Security.
When caregivers start exploring options for senior living facilities, many are surprised to find that these options are surprisingly affordable and provide many unique benefits that seniors wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere. There are lots of different options for senior living facilities, ranging from simple cooperative housing to an assisted living facility or nursing home where individualized medical assistance can be accessed 24/7.
Today, we’re going to explore the benefits of senior living facilities and discover why so many people are taking advantage of these options today.
It’s Safe and Healthy
As we age, mobility issues, cognitive decline, and ongoing health problems are just some of the issues that can limit our independence. As our physical and mental health begins to decline, a range of interventions are required; anything from more attentive care to physical modifications on our homes and vehicles. These modifications can be extremely cost-prohibitive. For instance, a wheelchair ramp is estimated to cost anywhere between $942 and $2,849, not including the cost of materials, which can easily cost upwards of $6,000.
For many people, a senior living facility offers all the health benefits of a live-in nurse or caregiver at a much more reasonable cost. They already have facilities that are completely equipped for someone with mobility or cognitive issues, which makes it a much safer environment than a traditional home. In addition to being built with these issues in mind, most senior living facilities are staffed around the clock with trained medical personnel, who can offer immediate assistance should any issue arise, day or night. The staff is also able to offer assistance with daily tasks like dressing and bathing.
In addition to offering a safe environment, many senior living facilities also offer regularly scheduled fitness classes, supervised by staff. These classes encourage regular physical fitness and are much easier to access than most traditional gym or community center fitness classes.
It’s Easy to Socialize
In addition to offering a safe and healthy environment, many senior living facilities also offer unique opportunities for socializing. Even if your loved one is in a cooperative housing development, these unique communities are built with socializing in mind. They’ll be among their peers and many people decide to move into these types of developments with friends, so they can maintain close ties.
Many seniors who choose to stay in their family homes feel isolated, as it can be difficult to get out to socialize when you’re dependent on someone else to drive or organize the outing. The onus is on them to organize activities, which can be taxing.
Many senior living facilities offer regularly scheduled classes and learning opportunities, which range from exercise classes to book clubs, quilting circles, and more. These classes and activities encourage seniors to socialize, which leads to many positive cognitive benefits. Being physically active and social on a regular basis helps to prevent depression and other mental health issues. In fact, studies have even linked ongoing physical stimulation to long-term brain health. Learning new activities and skills helps to improve our cognition, as well as our memories, and can even help prevent serious cognitive impairment.
Research has shown that there are numerous benefits to be gained from participating in social activities and maintaining community ties. In addition to their classes and clubs, many senior living facilities offer regular transportation so their residents can attend religious services, go grocery shopping, and take part in fun activities outside the home.
It Can Be Affordable
Many people believe that senior living facilities are a luxury way out of their price range. However, they fail to take into account the high cost of maintaining a home. A remarkable 37 percent of seniors over the age of 80 are paying more than the recommended 30 percent of their monthly income on housing. It’s estimated that a further 23 to 30 percent of seniors are paying more than half of their monthly income on either home maintenance and utilities or rent. Paying that much of your income on your home is unsustainable and leaves you vulnerable to unexpected expenses like medical bills or home repairs.
There are many different options for senior living facilities, and many come with government or private subsidies for seniors that can prove they have a need. In fact, the Good Samaritan Society operates many low-cost senior apartment complexes throughout the USA and offer subsidies to seniors as young as 50 who can show proof of limited income.
On the higher end of the spectrum, adult family homes or assisted living facilities are large homes or buildings where a group of seniors live together and receive ongoing assistance and care from staff. These facilities generally come with a monthly price tag of between $3,477 to $7,269, depending on whether they need to be in a nursing home or can live somewhere with fewer interventions. However, when you include all of the amenities and extras that come with these facilities, the price tag starts to look quite reasonable.
The choice of where to live as a senior can be extremely complex. There are so many different options and it can be hard to know when you’ve made the right choice. The best way to decide is to involve the senior in question and help them understand that you have their best interests at heart.