A constant discussion in active adult communities among friends, neighbors, and families is whether to remain at home (age in place) or to move to assisted living. Because everyone’s situation is different, there is no simple formula for this decision. To further complicate things, there are many residents in age-restricted communities who have an even more elderly parent living with them. So, how can you/they stay “at home” as long as possible, and when is it in everyone’s best medical and personal interest to move to assisted living?
Here are a few considerations:
Proximity to Supportive Family
Having family nearby, whether they are children or siblings, is almost essential as we age. But they are only useful if they are actually willing and able to be of use. If they are willing but unable, they may mean well but are of little practical use. That is not a criticism but an honest observation of life in an age-restricted community. We see adult children who are extremely involved in their parent(s) day-to-day wellbeing, yet there are also residents whose children, either because of work or location, are mostly absent from their parent’s care.
Living in an active adult community can be expensive. Taking inventory of personal finances is imperative, whether it’s your own finances if you are considering buying in an adult community or the finances of your parents who are considering the move. But someone needs to understand what’s going on and be an honest broker or advocate. Getting the right-sized home to begin with and living within a reasonable budget are crucial to remaining financially secure and personally independent. Age-restricted communities can involve a mortgage, utilities, taxes, and HOA fees to name only a few of the expenses. But assisted living isn’t cheap, either, currently running approximately $7,000 per month. Homecare is somewhat more expensive, but the service is one-to-one and can be 24/7 if that is what you need or prefer.
So, manage your finances well if you plan to age in place for as long as possible. And perhaps see if long-term care insurance makes sense for your situation.
Not even considering cognitive function (memory loss or age-related personality changes), how physically able are you to manage routine necessities?
- Can you dress yourself?
- Can you do laundry?
- Can you purchase your own food?
- Can you prepare healthy meals?
- Can you keep your living area safe and clean?
- Can you get to and from medical appointments?
- Can you safely administer your own medications?
- Can you manage your own personal hygiene?
Fortunately, there are agencies, both private and public, that can assist with routine tasks, medically known as ADLs (activities of daily life). Heather Rahrig, the Director/Managing Partner of Carepoint Homecare in Charlotte, says you must require assistance with at least two ADLs for long-term care insurance to begin paying for homecare costs.
If you would like to discuss options and services for non-medical homecare, Heather Rahrig is a great starting point. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org (980) 226-5516 or visit her website www.carepointinc.com.