With the population of seniors in America expected to double by 2040, it’s important now more than ever to consider the various options for a senior’s live after retirement. These options include living independently, living with others, or living permanently in a care home.
This article discusses some of the common choices that are available and provides insight into what you can expect from each option.
Living independently is a very popular option with seniors and it has some good benefits. The most obvious benefit is that seniors have more control over their lives and can do what they want. However, living alone for an extended period of time isn’t for everyone. Loneliness can be a problem for some people. For those who enjoy being alone, a roommate can be an ideal solution.
A roommate can provide companionship and company and could help you stay active. If you prefer to avoid social contact, a senior living facility is also an option. These facilities often provide services such as transportation, cleaning and companionship so that seniors are not completely isolated from the world around them. Notes Beyond Seniors published by the U.S. Census Bureau in July 2012, “Seniors’ Day of Independence” found that just 39 percent of seniors over the age of 65 live on their own. And even fewer, 29 percent, live alone.
Some people choose to temporarily move into a lower-cost residence such as a senior apartment or retirement home rather than pursue independent living. These options are more affordable and attractive to seniors who do not anticipate having the resources available for independent living for an extended period of time.
It’s important to consider that living independently is not as simple as it may seem. Many people believe they will be able to do this without too much of a problem; however, complications can arise. This can cause seniors to feel overwhelmed and possibly depressed.
A common complication is feeling lonely and isolated because the person is no longer engaged with the daily activities of his or her community. If you are thinking about opting for independent living, you may want to consider how you will handle feelings of loneliness before making that decision.
Living With Others
With this option, seniors can continue to live their lives as they have always done. They can choose to move into their own home or into a senior apartment building and have the option of living alone or with a roommate. The most important thing to remember is that when you live with other people, you are not totally independent. You will need to rely on your roommates or other people in the building in order to maintain your standard of living.
A common problem for older people who choose this option is privacy. You will not have total privacy and it’s important to weigh that against the benefits you get from senior housing.
For example, you may be concerned about how your friends or family members will respond to your new living arrangements. If they do not accept your choice, they may withdraw their support or stop visiting you altogether.
Living with others also has a variety of benefits. People who live in this situation are often more active and engage in many aspects of their daily lives.
For example, if you have someone to help with housework, you will have an incentive to keep up with maintaining your home. Also, if your family members are still able to visit you, they are able to continue the social interactions they’ve enjoyed since the beginning of your life together.
In many cases, when a person chooses to live with others, it may have occurred in the person’s own home. This could be a particular benefit if there is someone in your family who doesn’t want you to move out. However, living with others will typically require more effort and dedication than living independently.
If you are considering living with others, consider your personal preferences and the likelihood of maintaining an active social life. If you plan to move into an apartment complex or other senior housing options, ask what services are available. There may be a support program at the facility to assist you if you have any problems going through the transition.
Like living independently, living with others also has its complications. The one major difference is that, with those options, you aren’t living in your own home. You are an unfamiliar part of a building full of other people and on occasion, they may choose to engage with you more than they might wish. You need to understand that unless you have many friends in the building, you may not see them for weeks or even months at a time. This can cause a sense of isolation.
This option is typically more affordable than independent living, but it has its downsides as well. Since your options are likely to be limited, you may have to make trade-offs when it comes to lifestyle preferences.
Permanently Living In A Care Facility
People may choose to go into a care facility because they are not able to make the decision of where they would like to live on their own any longer. Some people say that moving into a facility is like “going home” and others say that it’s a temporary arrangement. Everyone’s situation is different, but many facilities are beautiful, well-maintained communities with many amenities and services.
Permanent care facilities are a lot like senior apartments in that they provide a place to stay, along with many other lifestyle services. After you’ve been living in a care facility for several months or years, you may be given the option of moving into independent living.
A permanent care facility can be an attractive option for people who want to move into their own home but may not be able to afford it. Many people who choose this option do so because they already have the support network and amenities they need to live on their own.
Unlike independent living, the choice you make will be permanent. However, you may find that your needs change over time and, at that point, you may decide to move into independent living or in with other people. However, you will no longer have the option to live independently.
If this is your choice, try to consider how your lifestyle preferences will change over time and weigh them against the benefits of permanent care facilities. You must be aware that the quality of life within a care facility can vary greatly from one facility to another.