The Arbor Company Senior Living Blog

The Value of Senior Living: Comparing the Costs

Mar 15, 2018 6:00:00 AM / Rebecca Smith Rebecca Smith

GettyImages-660475514 resized again.pngAs you enter retirement age, you may be wondering what all the hype is about senior living communities. You hear your friends talk about their community, or perhaps you have visited them there and are curious if a move might benefit you. Or perhaps you are concerned about your senior loved one, who is living with a chronic health condition that is difficult to manage. Increased pain or complicated medications can be frustrating to live with, especially if your loved one is living alone. You have wondered if a senior living community would be best for your loved one but are worried about bringing up the subject.

In either of these cases, senior living communities can—and will—pleasantly surprise you and your senior loved one. More than just simply a posh place to live your senior years, these communities are active and engaging, making their residents happy and healthy. Senior living communities can be the answer to your prayer and the cure to your curiosity. Even better, most communities bring more value to the lives of their residents, making the cost of senior living well worth it.

Your Senior Living Options

Senior living communities are not what you may have experienced just a few decades ago. In fact, senior living communities now offer amenities and an atmosphere that are more similar to a hotel than a hospital. This additional attention to hospitality and to the resident experience has made senior living communities the hottest pieces of property in town. You have a variety of services based on the level of care and assistance that you, or your loved one, may need.

Independent Living

For seniors who need the peace of mind of nearby assistance, independent living offers onsite nursing advice as well as delicious meals served in a dining room surrounded by friends. Most independent living communities offer housekeeping services weekly as well as free transportation to places of interest around town, including local places of worship, grocery stores and medical complexes.

Independent living residents can typically navigate around their apartment well and can handle daily activities of living without hands-on assistance. These seniors benefit from having neighbors to socialize with right down the hall as well as conveniences such as planned events, trips and even onsite computer labs.

Compare the costs of senior living. Use our senior living calculator.

Assisted Living

For seniors who need more assistance, including help with medications and activities of living (like showering or toileting), assisted living communities offer extra support in an environment designed to help them succeed. Residents in assisted living communities get the benefit of caregivers staffed around the clock, ready to help out with buttoning a shirt or ensuring safety. Three meals a day are prepared with each resident’s specific dietary needs in mind, and meals are served in a bustling dining room full of friends and neighbors.

Assisted living residents have their own apartments, complete with their own furniture and special design touches. A designed staff team plans social events, trips and new learning opportunities to ensure residents are never bored and always engaged. Doctors visit residents right on-site, and transportation is offered to many local points of interest.

Memory Care

Finally, seniors who are living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias will find solace and stimulation in memory care communities. These specialized communities are designed for resident success and staffed by specially trained caregivers and nurses who know interventions that work for memory-challenged seniors.

Memory care communities offer age-appropriate, failure-free activities for residents and peace of mind for worried family members. Residents are safe and secure, but also happy and engaged in their new environment. Meals are served to preserve dignity, and every experience is customized to meet individual needs or challenges.

Value vs. Cost

When searching for a senior living community, first determine your level of care. Once you have done that, you can begin to research costs and determine how they fit in with your budget. However, it is important to note that cost and value are quite different.

While most independent living, assisted living and memory care communities come with a monthly cost that includes room and board, utilities and use of amenities, there is much more that comes along with living in a senior living community. Access to care, peace of mind and safety add to the value of choosing to live in a senior living community, as do socialization and meeting new friends. Not having to cook three meals per day, and looking forward to the next trip to the city with your friends, contributes greatly to your quality of life and to the value of your decision to live in a senior living community.

Curious if you can afford a senior living community? Our Cost Calculator will help you determine your current costs and potential costs, helping you make the best decision for your retirement years.

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Topics: Senior living

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca is the Regional Vice President of Sales at The Arbor Company.

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