Cost Comparison: Aging in Place vs Senior Living Communities

After you retire, you truly have so many housing options available to you. Some choose a smaller, more manageable home. Some choose an active senior living community. Others prefer to remain in their current residence, a concept that some call aging in place.

An excellent way to distinguish what senior living option is best for you – and compare their costs – is to review Florida senior living communities. The research leads to some surprising conclusions, including the fact that aging in place can become even more expensive than relocating to a senior living community.

What Does “Aging in Place” Mean?

Aging in place refers to the decision to stay at home, even long after retirement. When you choose to age in place, the cost of maintaining your home and yard remains your responsibility, of course. You’ll cover all utility bills for the home and make any necessary repairs as they arise.

Aging in place isn’t an uncommon choice. According to a recent AARP survey, approximately 76 percent of those over the age of 50 choose to age in place. Some find, however, that aging in place can become a challenge through the years, physically and mentally. Others prefer a more convenient option that offers home maintenance support, more convenient billing, and a more manageable home. And others decide to move to a community of others who share similar traits and interests, making it easier to make friends and enjoy active social schedules.

What’s Provided by Senior Living Communities?

Senior living communities offer an attractive living option for retirees. Senior living communities provide services that are entirely customizable to your current needs. Moving into a senior community doesn’t mean sacrificing independence. Instead, you have 24/7 access to staff members who can help you with tasks big and small.

The Atrium at Boca Raton | Seniors holding hands
Whole-body wellness is an integral part of residing in a senior living community. The residence provides many activities to stimulate the mind and body.

Activity schedules will likely include exercise classes, hobby club meetings, walking groups, lectures and classes, and much more. Senior living communities monitor your health and can arrange for any medical visits you may need.

Social activities are also an advantage. Activity calendars mean that there are plenty of opportunities to turn neighbors into friends, and shared spaces offer room to gather. Residents can also enjoy restaurant-style dining options on-site.

Senior living communities also offer more security than aging in place. With a senior living community, residents are protected by security round-the-clock. Security will monitor the grounds and also prevent any trespassing.

Florida senior living communities provide varying levels of care. For instance, the center can offer programs to those who require memory care services. Team members can provide help with medication management, dressing, laundry and house cleaning for those who need a hand. Senior living communities also allow residents to increase or scale back personal care services as needed.

Cost of Senior Living Communities Versus Aging in Place

Budgetary concerns may make an individual choose aging in place over a retirement community. You may have paid off your home, or you may have a low mortgage payment. At first glance, it may seem as though a senior living community will cost much more than staying at your current residence. However, hidden costs will likely arise for those who decide not to move to an assisted living community.

One cost consideration for retirees is home upkeep. All homes, but especially older models, require regular maintenance. Maintenance tasks may include painting, mowing the lawn, snow removal and trash removal. Regular housekeeping is also needed, becoming time-consuming in homes with more than one bedroom or bathroom. Although you could hire someone to perform these tasks, pricing usually starts at $50 or more an hour.

Although regular maintenance is costly, home repairs can be even more expensive. Over the years, appliances, plumbing systems and electrical components will likely need replacement or repair. Because it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to make these fixes, the price can be significant.

People also face issues with accessibility in their current homes. If mobility issues arise, the senior will need to make modifications to the house to improve accessibility. Changes may include installing wheelchair ramps, shower grab bars, widening doorways to accommodate a wheelchair or walker, and installing a chairlift.

In some cases, people will need to bring in care specialists to help them out at home. Home health aides and other professionals will charge an hourly or daily rate to help out at home. A 2019 survey from Genworth reported that the average monthly cost for a home health aide was $4,385.

The cost of senior living communities is all-inclusive. For one flat rate per month, you cover all of your monthly living costs. The price includes housing, meals, wellness programs, security and health monitoring. Home maintenance is always a part of your fee, as well as housekeeping, laundry and linen services. The residences are always designed with accessibility in mind, so no changes need to be made to the senior living apartments.

Florida Senior Living Communities Cost Considerations

Living in a senior living community is surprisingly affordable. Florida enjoys one of the lowest averages in the country for cost of living. Florida also provides one of the best national cost averages for assisted living residences. According to the Florida Health Care Association, the median cost of a private residence at an assisted living community in Florida is $48,000 per year. This average is lower than the national cost of $50,000 each year. The price is also less than paying a home health aide more than $51,000 annually.

Are you looking to learn more about Florida senior living communities? Contact the Atrium at Boca Raton today to find out how we provide exceptional care at a high value to all our residents. Contact us today to learn more.

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