Although the majority of retirees say they intend to age-in-place in the family home, as time goes on, they may find it’s more than they can (or want to) handle alone. That’s when it’s time to take an honest look at the benefits that can be realized by downsizing to senior living.
Family homes have many good points but rarely is accessibility one of them. Modern senior living communities, however, are designed from the ground up to provide residents with a home that is ready to meet each physical need as it arises. Conversely, creating the same safety-minded environment in the home can be costly and complicated, as noted in the webmd.com article, “Mobility and Accessibility: Planning for Your Needs.”
Downsizing to senior living provides features like wide halls and doorways, walk-in showers, grab bars, and elevated toilets, and lever-type door and faucet handles that are easy to use. Unlike in typical family homes, senior living offers residents physical safety and security features as well as the peace of mind that comes with the knowledge that help is always close by.
Another aspect of downsizing to senior living is the fact that living at home may actually cost more than living in a senior living community. The reason is simple: Senior living communities are in many ways like all-inclusive resorts where many things are included in one fee. In our blog, “The Costs of Senior Living: How They Compare to Living at Home,” we compare these costs on a level playing field so it’s easy to see how much seniors have to gain from downsizing to senior living.
Isolation and loneliness are at epidemic levels in the United States and seniors are among the most impacted. Lack of socialization has been linked to a variety of physical and mental health concerns as noted in our blog, “Isolation in Seniors and Why Socialization Is So Important for Their Overall Well-Being.”
Downsizing to senior living, however, means there is always plenty to do and plenty of people to spend time with. Whether taking an exercise class, joining a club or interest group, participating in an outing or playing a game of mahjongg or cards, senior living can make socialization as easy as just saying “Hi!”
It may surprise many older adults that aging brings with it changes in their nutritional needs. For example, loss of muscle mass means seniors need more protein but slightly less fiber than they used to as noted in the acl.gov document, “Nutrition Needs for Older Adults: Fiber.” Another concern is the decrease in the body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12, which is essential to cardiovascular health as well as cognition, so eating more B12-rich foods is key to overall well-being. Downsizing to senior living, however, makes good nutrition an everyday affair thanks to chef-inspired meals made from fresh, wholesome ingredients, even for those with special dietary needs.
Downsizing to senior living also offers a lifestyle that includes some pretty amazing services and amenities. From the beautiful housing options to services like onsite hair salons and barbershops to the daily calendar of events and activities, there’s never a dull moment, unless residents choose to spend time on their own. Modern senior living communities like Thrive Senior Living offer residents at all levels of care everything they need to pursue good health and self-fulfillment and to enjoy a level of independence they cannot get at home. For a look at what to expect from the best, check out our blog, “The Top Considerations When Choosing a Senior Living Community.”
When seniors live at home, families often find they spend far more time taking care of the home and the senior, but far less time just enjoying being together. Cooking, cleaning, mowing, fixing, and a myriad of other chores can quickly devour precious hours to the point that there’s no time left to watch a movie, take a walk or play a game together. But in senior living, housekeeping, maintenance and care are provided so visits can once again be enjoyable for everyone, every time.
One more benefit of downsizing to senior living is the fact that even though a senior is active and healthy when they move in, if things change down the road, they will be able to quickly move to a higher level of care, without having to leave the community and friends they love.