As you look towards retirement, what do you picture? The answer is deeply personal and differs for everyone. Common factors that can color your response might include location, community and required care, as well as the number of times you are willing to move — if you choose to move at all.
At Friendship Village of South Hills, it is our goal to ensure older adults have the choices they desire to age successfully and enjoy the retirement they’ve worked so hard for. How and where you choose to spend retirement is up to you. Below, we explore retirement living options.
Aging in Place with Hired Care
Many older adults are quite comfortable in their homes and don’t want to make any other moves. And that’s understandable. If you’re living in the same home where you raised a family, or in a community you’ve been a part of for many years, you might feel a strong sentimental attachment to your current location.
If your plan is to age in place, you’ll want to make sure your home is manageable as long as possible. Are there stairs involved in your daily routine? If so, will it be possible to rearrange your home or your routine to eliminate the stairs if they become a hazard? You might consider making other safety updates to your home like adding grab bars in the bathroom and installing non-slip flooring or laying carpet or rugs over tile and hardwood floors. Updates to your home will come with a price tag of a few hundred dollars for small changes to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a full-blown renovation.
Another cost to consider when aging in place is that of home health providers. The U.S. government estimates that 7 out of 10 older adults will require long-term care at some point in their lives. Even if you are in good health now, it’s worth understanding the costs and having a plan in place should you ever require home health assistance. There are different types of home health aides who can help with basic home keeping tasks or even provide skilled nursing care. Home health providers might charge daily, hourly or overnight rates, depending on the services provided, although data from Genworth puts the average monthly costs for home health aides around $4,500.
Moving in with Adult Children
Whether precipitated by a health need or simply done out of practicality, some older adults and their loved ones prefer the idea of multigenerational living arrangements. Maybe the opportunity to form closer bonds with children and grandchildren and additional help around the home is appealing to you and your loved ones, but there is still lots to consider before making this choice.
First and foremost, ensure this decision is something the whole family is on board with. Talk frequently and openly with your loved ones about what you would both need when living under the same roof. Similar to assessing your own home, you’ll also want to consider the space you’ll be moving into and what kind of safety updates might need to be made.
If you or a spouse require extra medical attention or memory support, a specialized care center can be a wonderful option. If you require assistance with activities of daily living but are otherwise quite independent, you might want to consider an assisted living residence. In 2020, the average monthly cost across the U.S. for an assisted living community was around $4,000, but the cost can vary drastically based on location and services offered.
If memory loss is an issue, or your loved one is living with Alzeheimer’s or related dementias, specialized memory care centers offer a safe place to live under the care of trained professionals. In 2020, the average monthly cost for memory care was approximately $1,000 more than the monthly cost of assisted living.
If downsizing to a more low-maintenance lifestyle is appealing, look into independent senior living options near you. Senior apartments are apartments specifically for those 55 and over and are designed with safety in mind, often featuring wider doorways and grab bars. Available on a rental basis, senior apartments might also include other perks like laundry services or on-site fitness amenities.
Another option is 55+ communities — unique neighborhoods specifically for active older adults who wish to live among other active older adults. Some of these communities might even cater to a particular interest group or set of hobbies. One important thing to note is that some independent living communities might actually have a higher age requirement than 55, so be sure to inquire as you compare your options. The cost of a 55 and over community typically includes the cost of purchasing a home within the community as well as any additional HOA fees or the cost of particular services or amenities, like access to a community or fitness center.
According to a report from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC), the average monthly cost of independent living can range from a few hundred to well over $9,000.
Life Care Community
Similar to the independent living options above, Life Care communities, sometimes called continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), offer low-maintenance independent living options for active older adults. Unlike those independent living options, Life Care communities also offer access to higher levels of care should you ever require them.
Life Care Costs
Most often, the cost of a Life Care community includes an entrance fee. This fee can range from $100,000 to well over $1 million and includes the cost of your new home within the community, available services and amenities, and helps support the costs of on-site health services. Additional monthly fees cover costs like maintenance, transportation, dining and activities, and are around a few thousand dollars on average.
Life Care Contracts
It’s worth noting that different Life Care communities offer different types of contracts. Contract types include Type A (Life Care), Type B (Modified) or Type C (Fee-for-Service), with Type A contracts offering the most comprehensive care, but often coming with a higher entrance and/or monthly fee.
If you don’t want to make multiple moves over the coming years and would enjoy the peace of mind offered by the availability of additional care, it is worth looking into a Life Care community near you.
The Benefits of Life Care at Friendship Village of South Hills
At Friendship Village of South Hills, we offer a Type A Life Care contract to residents in our 62 and over community. That means, in addition to our spacious private residences, delicious dining venues, serene setting and abundant on-site programming opportunities, our residents have access to a full continuum of care within the comfort of our very own community, should they ever require it.
If the best of retirement living and available care sounds like what you’re looking for, please get in touch with our team. We would be happy to discuss how we can best support your ideal retirement.