The increasing cost of living is always among the top financial concerns that keep seniors up at night, so it can be tempting to evaluate assisted living by cost rather than by the value it offers. But there are unseen costs—emotional, physical, and financial—of choosing the cheapest senior living option instead of the option that meets individual needs both today and tomorrow.
Independent seniors looking to move into a retirement community may feel daunted in choosing someplace that is appealing, comfortable, and affordable. Often, these active seniors are more concerned with amenities and environment and less with care. After all, their move to a senior community is to facilitate and continue their full lives, not to take a giant step back.
So which factors should you consider when choosing a retirement community? There are several, but first, you must fully understand what independent senior living entails.
As few as 44 percent of Americans have a will, and just 68 percent of seniors older than 65 one have a will, a Gallup poll found. Whether it’s because of a lack of time, lack of money, or the belief that things will sort themselves out, the vast majority of older Americans have not taken all legal planning steps that are needed. In fact, many haven’t even completed the first step: gather important legal documents.
Organizing estate planning, medical, and financial legal documents is an easy way to ensure that you or your loved one’s wishes are honored, and that surviving family members won’t be left with hefty legal bills and disputes to untangle.
Sixty-two percent of people approaching retirement age voiced concern about their ability to pay for long-term senior living costs, and 43 percent of retirees voiced similar concerns, according to a recent retirement survey report. Clearly, affording senior living costs is among the chief financial concerns of older Americans.
Concerns about affording senior living are largely fueled by uncertainty. Financial planning is the key to alleviating those concerns—and to affording senior living both now and in the future.
The term senior living community carries different definitions for different people. Some families might see asenior living community as a place where their loved ones enjoy retirement. Others may see it as a place that provides the necessary services to seniors who might need extra assistance in their day-to-day lives. And still others think of senior living communities strictly as nursing homes.
Have you decided that it’s time to start thinking seriously about moving to a senior living facility?
Many seniors admit that one of the main reasons they put off exploring senior living options is the price tag. However, if you know deep down that you’re ready for senior living, you should seriously consider moving and start exploring the options available to you.
Unfortunately, financial concerns lead to lengthy delays in seniors receiving the care, accommodations, and engagement that they so badly need. But there are many options and resources available to help pay for senior living—some that you might not be aware of.
Dementia affects 47 million people around the world, and that number is expected to triple by 2050. Finding ways to provide more efficient and effective dementia care will be among the world’s top public health priorities in the years ahead.
Moving to a senior community isn’t always the first choice for older adults. After all, living at home for as long as possible is often considered healthy aging by most Americans. Many seniors and their family members try to stay at home for as long as they can, even while fighting with chronic medical conditions, loneliness, and memory loss. This desire to stay at home can often lead to unhealthy and isolated living conditions, which isn’t healthy aging at all.
Starting the “moving” conversation with an aging parent is never easy. The idea of leaving a home after spending decades there brings a great deal of uncertainty and unpredictable reactions.
First and foremost, don’t go it alone. Family members, elder care planning experts, and resources such as the Talking to Your Parent Guide will provide support and tools to help start the “moving” conversation.