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  • Writer's pictureashley saile

Assisted Living Vs. Independent Living for Seniors

photo courtesy of pixabay

It’s Fall in the Northeast, a time for cool weather and hot cocoa! Some of my fondest memories growing up were taking walks in the woods with my grandma, collecting fallen leaves as we go. Times were slower back then, and walks were often a source of adventure. Toward the end of grandma’s glorious life, we all had to make considerable decisions as to the best place for her. Most of her family had moved to other states far away from the homestead, and we were all concerned about her safety and quality of life.

According to studies, by 2040, 22% of Americans will be 65 +. Thanks to the plethora of new medicine technologies, Americans are living longer, and needing affordable housing options that are safe. A great resource for seniors and their families is ASHA (American Seniors Housing Association). As a member, they provide tools for finding the right independent living community, memory care facilities, and assisted living communities across the country. Compare costs, amenities and more on their website.

Many seniors prefer to age in place for as long as possible. This may reduce the burden and financial costs associated with retirement facilities on their families in the short-term, but will have additional costs to maintain the house they live in. Everyday things that most seniors did with ease 10 years ago, like housekeeping and mowing the lawn are now sourced to outside labor. Some community organizations have resources to help find low cost landscaping services or call around to different places and ask if they provide a senior discount. Almost anything can be ordered and delivered online, from groceries to prescriptions, but many seniors still prefer to go to stores themselves to make a purchase. For seniors that don’t drive anymore, a ride-share that they can call or text a dispatcher is extremely important. Tremp Ride-Share solves that problem. They are a call/text only Ride-Share dispatcher that connects seniors with UBER/LYFT drivers. Tremp makes it easy to get a rideshare without having an app or smartphone. This allows seniors to be able to be mobile, and gets them out of the house and active. Activity is an important factor in how long seniors can age in place, and studies have shown that activity and exercise helps improve mental and physical health. Taking a Ride-Share to a Mall for a few hours a day every week can help. Have a friend join, and the benefits for both increase greatly. If family is too far to check daily or weekly, having a home health aide is a necessary cost.

On average, American seniors spend around $5,000 a month to have a medical health care professional come 3-4 x week. Home Health Aides help seniors with daily tasks like bathing and dressing, arranging and scheduling doctors appointments, calling for Ride-Shares or transportation services, doing light housekeeping like dish washing, vacuuming and more. They are a vital resource in helping seniors age at home. Some Medicaid programs and Long Term Care Insurance may be able to help cover the costs of a home health aide. Always discuss with your plan administrator for the details of your family's coverage.

Once Aging in place is no longer an option for your aging family member, decisions on retirement homes, memory care facilities, assisted living facilities, and senior living communities need to be made. Care at these facilities is usually expensive due to round the care attention seniors need. High End Facilities in high income neighborhoods can charge upwards of $10,000 per month, and many have entrance fee costs just to get placed into the facility. If possible it might make sense to look for assisted living communities in lower income neighborhoods, as the monthly price will tend to be lower. This decision has to be weighed with public safety in mind, transportation routes and availability and more. For a major decision like this, it is important to understand each pro and con and to shop around different facilities in your area or your desired area.

Aging is not a topic many adults let alone our parents want to have. Having plans and conversations early can help prepare for when necessity strikes. Having companies like Tremp to offer Ride-Share services to non-smartphone users is a game changer for our loved ones.


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