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Providence Life Services

Independent Living Community vs. Staying at Home: What to Consider

What a difference a generation makes. Seniors today don’t fit the image of spending their golden years with nothing more to do than pass the time in a rocking chair. Senior living looks very different, too. Today senior communities offer lifestyle options to suit today’s active and engaged seniors.IL-vs-StayAtHome_blog_Portrait_350x350.jpg

The decision to move from your home to an independent living community is a big one. There’s a lot to consider, and it’s essential to weigh each option’s pros and cons. Should you remain living at home? Or is it time to move into a community? 

Costs

One of the main factors for many seniors is the cost. There are costs associated with each, as well as the related advantages and disadvantages. 

Living at Home

Some people worry that an independent living community is an expensive option. While there is certainly a cost, there is also a cost to live at home. 

  • Rent or Mortgage

The average rent in the United States is $1,200 a month. Even if you’ve paid off your mortgage, there are still property taxes to keep in mind. 

  • Utilities

Monthly utilities—electricity, water, heat—are all part of living at home. The average cost for utilities in the US is approximately $500 per month, or $6,000 a year. 

  • Food

The cost of food varies for everyone, but as a rule of thumb, expect to spend a minimum of $250 per person per month, which adds up to $3,000 a year for each person. 

  • Transportation

Transportation costs can vary, but for people who operate a vehicle and don’t take public transportation, gas costs around $250 a month, or about $3,000 a year. 

  • Miscellaneous

The tally, so far, is about $26,000 a year, covering just the necessities. It doesn’t include housekeeping, laundry, eating out, entertainment, unexpected expenses, or trips. 

Providence Life Services Independent Living 

Each of our Independent living communities—Park Place Elmhurst, Park Place of St. John, Royal Park Place, Saratoga Grove, Victorian Village, Village Woods—offers various accommodations and amenities to suit individual lifestyles and needs. 

  • Service Rate & Rent

Depending on the service level you want and the type of home you’d like to live in, the costs vary, but there are several options.

  • Utilities

Utilities are included in the rent. 

  • Food

Dining options are available, so you only cook when you choose.

  • Miscellaneous

From weekly housecleaning services, maintenance, and a long list of other amenities all included in your rent; you’re free to spend your money on whatever you fancy.

Of course, there are many other factors to consider when deciding whether to move to an independent living community or remain in your home. 

Staying in Your Home

The reasons some seniors choose to remain in their homes are as varied as each individual, but some main reasons include:

  • Emotional ties to their home, their family home

A house is just a house, but a home is a lot more! For people who have resided in the family home for a long time, leaving it can be very emotional. 

  • The fear of losing their independence

Aging in place allows seniors to live where they are comfortable. It is familiar. Some seniors equate this with independence. 

  • The fear of the unknown, the fear of change

Changes and life adjustments are difficult for anyone. The fear of the unknown can keep seniors in their homes and sometimes in an unsafe environment. 

  • Avoiding the stress of moving

Moving is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life, and stress can cause all kinds of problems. For seniors, moving likely also involves downsizing, which can add to the tension. For many seniors, moving out of a family home may mean sorting through decades of keepsakes and possessions.

Benefits of Independent Living Communities

Some of the things older adults like most about independent living communities include:

  • No maintenance or repairs

Freedom from snow shoveling, mowing the lawn, or fixing the dishwasher! A move to independent living comes with a maintenance-free lifestyle.

  • Amenities and conveniences

Depending on the community, a host of amenities and conveniences are available. Housekeeping, transportation, trash removal, a beauty/barbershop, and meal plans are a few standard services. 

  • 24-hour security

Independent living communities provide a safe and secure environment. From having staff onsite around the clock to fire suppression systems and an emergency call system, seniors can feel safe living alone. 

If you’re considering whether or not to move to an Independent Living Community, we invite you to visit one of our communities to learn more. Of course, we think our communities are the best, but see what our residents had to say. Home is where the heart is!

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