How to Get Past the Myths about Senior Living
Moving to a senior living community continues to be a smart and cost-effective choiceeven in this challenging economic environment. Despite the current market, progressive retirement residences are rolling out more flexible pricing and move-in options, debunking major myths about senior living and educating older adults as to why now is an ideal time to move into a community.
Senior living communities have responded sensitively to whats important to older adults, including, Staying put is more affordable than moving; I dont want my family to worry about me anymore; My costs are going up and I cant predict how high; and, I am most independent in my own home.
Dispelling the most prevalent myths, particularly about price and maintaining independence (see below), is a critical part of the education process and is central to helping older adults and their families understand the value that senior living communities provide, particularly in this economic climate.
Myth #1: Staying in my own home is less expensive than moving to a senior living community.*
Moving to a senior living community can actually help extend the life of a persons assets.
- At innovative senior living communities, services, amenities and meals are included for a more predictable monthly fee than the unexpected costs of home ownership. Fees include light housekeeping; home, building and grounds maintenance; choice of meal plans, scheduled transportation, concierge assistance, professional community management, 24-hour staffing, and an emergency call system.
- Residents enjoy more predictability, unlike remaining at home, where costs could average as much as $5,000 monthly for routine expenses, and more for unexpected repairs or assessments. Add in the potential cost of care, and many people cannot afford to wait.
- A continuing care retirement community (CCRC), which provides a resident with a combination of housing, dining and certain healthcare services in return for a monthly fee and, in many cases, an entrance fee, may have entrance fee options that return a portion of a residents entry fee upon move out or re-sale, which can help with estate planning.
Myth #2: I will lose my independence if I move into a senior living community.
Senior living communities help older adults to maintain their independence as long as possible.
- Independence means being able to live life on ones own terms, including making choices about care and costs before a situation arises. Most people prefer not to put the burden on their children or other family members, which requires planning.
- Social benefits include neighbors who share interests and lifestyle opportunities that include lifelong learning, social occasions, clubs and discussion groups, cultural and recreational opportunities, fitness and art classes, and other programs and eventsall just steps away from your own apartment, which makes it easier to stay engaged.
- Residents are freed from home upkeep concerns so they can develop new friendships, pursue their talents and interests, and enjoy life to the fullest.
Myth #3: I will spend less money on care if I stay at home or if I choose a nursing home when my spouse or I actually need it. **
Moving into a CCRC is one of the smartest ways to protect against rising long-term care costs and is much less expensive than market rates for higher levels of care.
- For qualified residents, at recognized continuing care residences, contracts include access to assisted living, mild-to-moderate Alzheimers care, and basic skilled nursing care at the on-site care center.
Myth #4: I should wait to sell my home until it is worth pre-downturn prices again.
Aging and the potential need for care dont stop regardless of market conditions.
- There is no way to predict the future of home values. Conservative estimates indicate very modest, if any, increases in the near future.
*Figures outlining the costs of staying at home versus moving to a senior living community are available upon request.
**Figures outlining the costs of care on an annual basis are available upon request.