Many people assume that the cost of living in a senior living community is greater than remaining in your own home, but that’s not always the case. To help you make a fair comparison between these two retirement living options, here are some of the factors that come into play.
Senior Living Costs
Senior living communities offer a range of services tailored to meet the wants and needs of older adults. While the cost can vary widely depending on factors like location, level of care provided, services and amenities, the following are some typical expenses associated with senior living communities:
a) Monthly Rent: Senior living communities often charge monthly rent that covers accommodations, meals, housekeeping, and basic utilities.
b) Care Services: Additional fees are charged for varying levels of care, from basic assistance with daily activities to specialized medical care.
c) Amenities: Upscale senior living communities offer amenities like fitness centres, transportation services, and social activities, which can increase the overall cost.
Staying at Home Costs
Many seniors prefer to age in place, remaining in their own homes for as long as possible. While this option can be emotionally comforting, there are financial considerations to keep in mind:
a) Home Modifications: As mobility and health decline, modifications to the home, such as installing ramps, grab bars, and stair lifts, may be necessary to ensure safety. These modifications can incur significant costs.
b) In-Home Care: Hiring caregivers to assist with activities of daily living can be costly, especially if around-the-clock care is needed. Costs can vary depending on the level of care required and the location.
c) Medical Expenses: While staying at home, seniors may need to invest in medical equipment and supplies. Additionally, there might be increased healthcare expenses if specialized medical care is required at home.
d) Isolation and Transportation: Seniors who age at home may face higher transportation costs if they’re no longer able or willing to drive. If their mobility is restricted, they may become socially isolated, which can impact both their mental and physical well-being.
Factors Influencing the Senior Living / Stay at Home Decision
Several factors play a role in the decision-making process when comparing the costs of senior living versus staying at home:
a) Level of Care: The level of care required significantly impacts costs. Those needing extensive medical care might find senior living facilities more cost-effective due to the availability of on-site medical services.
b) Home Equity: Seniors who own their homes might consider using their home equity to fund senior care, whether through home equity loans, reverse mortgages, or home sale.
c) Social Factors: Social isolation is a genuine concern for seniors staying at home. Senior living communities can provide opportunities for social interaction, potentially improving overall well-being.
d) Family Support: The availability of family caregivers can influence the decision. Family members providing care can impact both the financial and emotional aspects of aging in place.
See for Yourself
The best way to truly understand whether a senior living community is a good fit for you or someone you know is to visit one. Contact one of our communities near you. We’d be happy to show you around. Download our Family Decision Toolkit for tips on making the best senior living decision.