In the United States, the label “senior citizen” is often slapped on your back when you turn age 65. While you might still feel young and fit at 65, it’s always a good idea to think about what your future living situation may look like.
If living independently as you age is your goal, then read on. We’ll discuss the realities of living on your own and share some viable alternatives to consider.
What Does Living Independently Look Like
At first glance, you might think that living on your own (staying in your home) helps you maintain complete freedom and happiness. But when you take a closer look, it may not be as advantageous as you think.
For one, many older adults (65+) end up feeling isolated and lonely, which can have a tremendous impact on both their mental and physical health.
Also, some health issues might cause you to be more susceptible to injuries. Not to mention, you might not notice the safety hazards that surround you (or you might create them unintentionally) – think clutter, flooring/carpeting, lighting, wet areas.
It may also be difficult to keep up with things like doing household chores, cooking nutritious meals, and taking medications.
Think About Alternatives
If you want to still be independent, but need some help in your day-to-day life, there are ways to arrange for this.
For one, there’s thoughtfully aging in place. This is where you can stay in your own home while having a team of resources available to help when needed. A good example is getting assistance from a caregiver who can help with things like bathing, preparing meals, laundry, managing money, and medications. Other services that are available include handyman and landscaping services.
If it all becomes too much (or too expensive) you can consider selling the home and moving to an independent living or assisted living community. Read on to find out more about each one.
Senior Independent Living Community
An independent living community is great for older adults who are in good health and require no (or minimal) assistance with daily life.
You can compare it to living at a resort. You’ll get to reside in a community of active peers. Many folks compare it to college dorm living.
Most chores for your apartment home will be taken care of by staff so you won’t have to worry about them. You might also get to enjoy on-site restaurants and/or cafe where you can take a few nights off of cooking meals yourself.
The day-to-day tasks associated with living alone at home are a thing of the past. Plus, you’ll enjoy a nice social network (often getting reacquainted with old friends).
Assisted Living Community
If you need a bit more help, an assisted living community can be ideal. It’s similar to a independent living community, but you’ll has access to more support – 24/7.
For instance, a nurse is always on duty and staff is there to provide help with bathing, dressing, eating; toileting, shopping, and making doctor’s appointments. If you’ve to experience today’s modern assisted living community, it’s worth seeing. It’s nothing like the nursing home of yesteryear.
Choose the Right Type of Senior Living
While living independently at home may feel liberating – it also can come with a level of loneliness that may be depressing and ultimately debilitating. It’s not the optimal solution for many. I’ve had more than one client say that they were living independently – while stuck alone in their homes. Only after selling their home and moving into a senior living community did they fully appreciate what independent living really felt like.
Making the move is a big decision. So, take you time, talk to people who have both made the move and those who you trust. In the meantime, you have lots of options to help you safely stay put, while you ponder the possibilities of what true independence looks like.
Of course, The Senior Learning Institute® and Ted Gottlieb are here, as a free resource, to help. Feel free to call Ted @ (314) 400-8102 or check out on of our free online seminars now.