Senior living today is very different from senior living during your parent’s time. Think luxury resorts. Senior living now offers on-site amenities, social activities, multiple dining venues serving chef-prepared meals and homes and apartments that provide privacy in a community with 24/7 security. If you’re not sure whether senior living is right for you, consider the following before making your decision.
Independence tops the list of most sought-after needs. You may believe living at home is the best place for you to remain independent; however, senior living communities encourage active aging to help you remain independent for as long as you’re able as well as remain physically and mentally healthy and fulfilled.
For example, if you live at home and find yourself no longer able to drive, you’ll need to must depend on others for transportation. In senior living communities, you can get around town using the free local transportation that’s provided. If mobility becomes more challenging and getting out is no longer safe, you’ll have convenient access to many services and activities within the community plus help will always be available should you need it.
As you age, your social life decreases especially when it’s more difficult to visit friends and participate in social activities. Socialization is a key ingredient in active aging. According to Penn State University’s The Effects of Social Isolation, becoming socially isolated can cause depression, low self-esteem and cognitive decline. Social isolation can also increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and chronic stress leading to lower immunity and poor sleep.
Senior living communities promote socialization. You can expect a daily activities schedule ranging from interesting classes to arts and crafts to games and entertainment that make socializing fun and engaging. At Lutheran Village at Miller’s Grant, we have a team members dedicated to arranging opportunities for you to pursue interests while meeting and spending time with others.
Best of all, those activities are right at home – no need to worry about bothering family or friends for a ride.
Growing older brings physical changes that can impact your nutritional needs. Understanding how your body is now processing food and the nutrients you need as a result as well as experiencing difficulty eating because of issues like sore gums or swallowing conditions can make a challenge to shop for, prepare and consume food.
Multiple on-site dining venues featuring chef-prepared meals provide you with healthy tasty meals that are available a short walk from your home. Menus often rival fine-dining restaurants and are prepared with the freshest ingredients to meet the special dietary needs of seniors. For example, our dining venue, Zest!, offers a fine dining experience with a farm-to-table menu.
Learn more about nutrition for seniors from the National Institute on Aging’s Healthy Meal Planning: Tips for Older Adults.
It’s a fact that from age 65 on, your odds of needing long-term care increase. According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Long-term Care Survey seven out of every 10 seniors will require LTC during that time. Living at home with LTC needs can quickly become a difficult endeavor when help is in short supply and costs are high. You may believe family members will be there when you need them, but in reality, the responsibilities of being a caregiver can become a burden as more care is needed.
In senior living, getting the exact level of care you need is part of the package, and according to the Genworth survey, getting LTC can be less expensive than getting it at home. For example, a home health aide providing around-the-clock care can be as much as $19,656 per month in Maryland. However, the cost of senior living in Maryland is typically less expensive – $12,167 per month with a private room – and often provides a greater level of care and resources.
Senior living communities have come a long way from the “old nursing home.” They’re designed to help you thrive, and although they want to see you enjoy living in the community, not all communities are equal. For this reason, you should schedule tours to get a real sense of what life is like at each community and to determine which senior living community is a good fit for you. Ultimately, making the right choice where to live out your retirement years depends upon your ability to remain independent and socially engaged as well as accessing nutritious meals and care when you need it to stay healthy and happy.
For more information, download our Stay or Go Guide.