Modern senior living communities are nothing like what you may remember from your grandparents’ day. Today’s communities are created to promote a vibrant, active lifestyle that empowers you to live the way you choose. Wouldn’t it be a shame if outdated ideas and misconceptions kept you from taking advantage of a lifestyle designed to help you live a longer, healthier, happier life? We agree. So, in that spirit, let’s take a look at some of the more common myths surrounding senior living and dispel them with a hearty helping of facts.
Myth: I’m too young. (a.k.a. Senior living is for old people.)
Facts: Most Life Plan Communities, also known as continuing care retirement communities, welcome people age 62+ who want to enjoy life, embrace opportunities, grow, learn and connect — without being bogged down by the chores of home maintenance or the burden of worrying about future health care. In fact, Life Plan Communities offer a wide array of services and wellness-focused amenities thoughtfully planned to empower you to live the kind of active, independent life you desire. You can expect to find:
- A fitness center and pool
- Group exercise classes and personal training
- Restaurant-style dining
- Café or coffee shop
- Art studio
- Library and classrooms
- A robust selection of social, educational and recreational programs, clubs and events
- Outdoor amenities such as gardens and walking trails
- Housekeeping service
- Transportation service
- Concierge services, and so much more.
No wonder the most common thing people say after moving in is “I wish I’d moved in sooner.”
Myth: I’ll have to give up my independence.
Facts: Independent living at a senior living community is just that — independent. You’ll come and go as you please, eat when and what you choose, do as much or as little as you want, and enjoy the privacy of your own home while also knowing friends and fun are just outside your door. Even assisted living is designed to help residents maintain as much independence as possible by providing just the right amount of personalized help when it’s needed. And just think how much more you will enjoy each day when freedom from mundane chores gives you more time to spend with friends and family, and focus on doing the things that bring you joy and fulfillment.
Myth: It’s too expensive.
Facts: Many people think remaining in their homes as they age will be the least expensive option. But it’s important to remember that mortgage-free doesn’t mean free. There are substantial ongoing costs just to maintain your home —added to the fact that aging in your home often means new expenses for things like help with housekeeping, landscaping and lawn care, general maintenance and more. You’ll also have to take a hard look at how your home is set up. Will you be able to move around safely? What if you one day need a wheelchair or walker? Are the doors wide enough? Are there stairs to navigate? Will you have to foot the bill for expensive remodeling to make your home safer as you age?
So, if the monthly fee for senior living gives you “sticker shock,” remember that, at a Life Plan Community, a single monthly fee covers almost everything — from your residence, meal plan and entertainment to utilities, maintenance and so much more. You won’t have to cook for yourself (unless you want to), vacuum a floor or clean a bathroom. You’ll never even have to change a light bulb — or pay real estate taxes. Plus, modern senior living communities are already designed to provide a beautiful living space that’s optimized for your changing needs.
To understand the value of a Life Plan Community, add up all the costs associated with living in your home and do a side-by-side comparison. You can use this handy worksheet to get started.
Myth: I’ll be better off if I just stay in my home as I age.
Facts: As we just pointed out, the home that was perfect for raising a family may not meet your needs as you grow older. And it may not make the most sense financially. But it’s also important to consider the personal costs of aging in your home. If you’ll be living alone, do you understand the significant health risks associated with isolation and loneliness? As mobility declines, many people stop leaving the house or doing the things they once enjoyed. This inevitably leads to social isolation which has been shown to contribute to anxiety, depression, a decline in cognitive function, and even the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Loneliness and isolation can also contribute to a decline in physical health, worsening conditions such as obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure, and weakening the immune system.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, research has shown that those who live in Life Plan Communities tend to live longer, healthier lives.* This is due in no small part to the abundant opportunities to engage with others through social events, classes and educational opportunities, recreational activities and even day-trips to places of interest. Plus, when you live at a Life Plan Community, you’ll have access to a health clinic for routine health monitoring and assistance with managing chronic conditions such as diabetes. All of this adds up to an environment that supports your total well-being and ongoing health.
The Bottom Line:
Choosing a Life Plan Community is about living life to its fullest. It means you are making important decisions about how you will live now and how any future healthcare needs will be met. It means choosing to have more free time to focus on the people you love and the activities you enjoy. It means welcoming new friendships and new experiences and expecting that your life will become even richer and more fulfilling. Choosing a Life Plan Community means you’re embracing the future and all it holds, with a secure plan that gives you confidence and peace of mind.
To learn more about how life at The Baldwin can help you live a longer, healthier, happier life, call us at 603.945.7707 or register to attend an event.
* U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care Policy. 1997. Continuing Care Retirement Communities: A Background and Summary of Current Issues.