We spend a lifetime cultivating a sense of meaning attached to our homes. Many seniors have spent decades in their homes, watching as children and grandchildren grow up, marriages evolve and change, and family members pursue their dreams. No wonder most seniors say they want to stay in their homes for as long as possible. But is it really better to stay in your home? Here’s what you need to know about assisted living vs. in-home senior care in Manassas, Virginia.
Staying at Home: Hopes Versus Reality
Most seniors who envision aging in place at home hope to hire extra help, lean heavily on family caregivers, and continue living life on their terms. For a lucky few, that’s exactly how it works out. For many more, however, remaining at home presents a mounting burden on everyone involved.
The many challenges of living at home include:
- Caregiver exhaustion and burnout. If you rely on family caregivers, you’ll be asking them to give up a significant portion of their time and life. They may do so lovingly, but the costs are real. Caregivers can suffer from exhaustion, depression, and burnout. They also lose time at work and with their own families. This can fundamentally change your relationship with your caregiver.
- Increasing expenses. If you rely on paid caregivers, you will likely need to make progressively more use of them as you age. This can add up to thousands of dollars in expenses each month.
- Isolation and loneliness. If you live alone, you may struggle to keep in touch with others, especially if you don’t drive. Many seniors choose to live at home because they're afraid of being forgotten. Yet living at home can be its own form of isolation, especially if you have serious health issues that make it difficult to get out and about. Many seniors who live at home end up bored.
- The challenges of home maintenance. Home ownership is expensive, even if you no longer have a mortgage. You’ll need to save money for unexpected repairs, keep up with the landscaping, ensure your house is safe, and possibly make alterations to your home in order to make it more accessible. Over time, this can eat into your budget and be a significant source of stress.
Assisted Living: What It’s All About
Assisted living isn’t like the nursing homes of the past. Instead, assisted living provides assistance with daily tasks such as dressing and grooming, within a safe and supportive environment. This can reduce anxiety about falls and help alleviate feelings of isolation and vulnerability. By offering only the support you need, assisted living can preserve your independence for longer.
Quality assisted living communities can also help prevent common injuries such as falls, potentially reducing the risk of chronic health problems, and maybe even helping you live longer. Research shows that seniors live longer, happier lives in senior communities.
The benefits of assisted living don’t end there, though. Today’s assisted living communities also offer:
- Luxurious, flawlessly designed homes. Your home and bathroom will be both fully accessible and beautiful.
- Gourmet dining in restaurant-like settings.
- A chance to continue learning and evolving. Choose from a wide variety of classes and daily activities.
- Special events such as live music and birthday celebrations.
- Community outings, including volunteer opportunities, field trips to local attractions, and transportation so that you can take care of errands.
Many seniors relish the chance to form new memories in a safe new setting. Most make lifelong friends in senior living. It’s true that you’ll have to leave your home behind, but doing so can actually relieve numerous financial burdens. For help comparing the costs of home ownership to assisted living, click here.
Making the Decision
There’s no one-size-fits-all senior living solution. Instead, seniors and their families must evaluate what’s most important to them, and consider what’s working and not working about their current lifestyle. Some questions that can help guide the decision-making process include:
- What resources are necessary to keep the senior living in their home, and are those resources affordable and available? If the senior relies on an unpaid caregiver, is this a sustainable option?
- Is the senior happy in their home, and are all their needs being met?
- What are the risks of living at home? What about moving to assisted living?
- What do the senior’s care providers, including doctors, think about their current living arrangement?
- How might the senior’s needs change in the future? Would moving to assisted living afford the senior the chance to age in place in a single senior living community?
At Arbor Terrace Sudley Manor, we would love to help you weigh your options. We proudly serve seniors in Manassas, Va., and are committed to exceptional care and the highest quality of life. Stop by to learn what we’re all about, or give us a call to schedule a tour.