Seniors have a lot to think about when it comes to figuring out the best living situation for themselves after a certain age. Some older adults have health or mobility issues that prevent them from living independently, whereas others prefer to have roommates who can help them maintain a home and prevent loneliness. Still, others are keen on staying in their own homes for as long as possible, which usually requires modifications to ensure safety. If you’re thinking about making a change and are interested in independent living, there are several options available to you. It can be a bit overwhelming to take it all in, so here are a few tips and ideas on how you can break down the choices and find the best option for your needs.
Home-sharing is a wonderful option for seniors who want to live independently because it allows for companionship and autonomy at the same time. If you want the freedom of living in a home of your choice but also want to have the peace of mind that someone will be there to help out with chores or even to assist you in the event of an emergency, home-sharing might be the right option for you. The good news is that you can choose your own roommate or look for someone through a shared-housing match program, which will help you find a like-minded individual who will share the workload and cost of keeping a home with you.
Think About Your Needs
It’s important to keep in mind that while independent living comes in a few different forms, it’s different from assisted living, which can include anything from a senior home that provides full healthcare to a community living space that allows some independence but also helps seniors with things like cooking or bathing. There are many different types of assisted living spaces across the country with wide-ranging price points, so it’s essential to think about whether you’ll need some services down the road. Keep in mind that many independent living spaces provide housing and social opportunities, but not health or emergency care.
Plan for the Unexpected
Independent living is perfect for seniors who are healthy, but there may come a day when you need some assistance with staying mobile, or when you find yourself living with an illness or disease that makes staying independent a challenge. That’s why it’s important to plan for the unexpected and make sure your living arrangement is safe. Big home modifications can be pricey, but smaller ones — such as preventative measures like giving the bathroom slip-free surfaces — are very budget-friendly and can help you ensure your own safety in the months and years to come, especially since almost two-thirds of senior visits to the ER involve bathroom falls. You may qualify for financial assistance for the bigger modifications, however.
Age in Community
Aging in community is a great way to remain social and get the benefits from those relationships while still maintaining independence and privacy. If you’re unsure about having a housemate, a senior community might be the right option for you. Look online to find a community near you and to learn more about what they offer; some provide common areas for the residents to gather in, while others have strict rules and age requirements.
Prepare for Your Move
If you decide moving is the right choice, there’s a lot to plan for in order to pull this off successfully. While a little stress is an inevitable part of this type of transition, a careful approach can make this process easier. You’ll need to start with decluttering and downsizing your belongings. The emotions of this task can be heady, so consider having a friend or loved one help you pare down your stuff. Next, you’ll need to pack and research local movers. Your best bet is to work with a company that offers both packing and moving services, like Athens Moving Experts. By combining the tasks through one agency, you can lower your costs and minimize your stress. Use a checklist to help you mark off everything you complete, and before you know it, you’ll be settled and unpacked!
Independent living, community living, and aging in place are all great options for seniors, but they can vary quite a bit in terms of what they have to offer, so it’s imperative to do some research before you make a decision. Your savings, budget, and health needs are three of the most important factors to consider when you’re weighing the options, but it’s also a good idea to think ahead a bit and look into the future. What will your needs be down the road?