To age in place or age in an assisted living facility … that is the question facing seniors and their families. There are definite pros and cons to both arrangements; seniors and their loved ones should carefully consider the ramifications of both options. What is right for one individual isn’t necessarily the appropriate answer for everyone, but there’s a growing body of compelling evidence affordable assisted living may be a win-win for both seniors who need a bit of assistance and the families who love them.
Ask any senior if he or she would prefer to “age in place” or age in an assisted-living facility, the automatic answer will probably be “I want to retain my independence.” Many seniors assume “assisted living” means giving up independence. Today, that is not the case. In decades past, that may have been true, but many of today’s assisted-living options are designed to retain residents’ independence. Seniors live in their own private apartment-style homes with kitchenettes and bathrooms. They can decorate any way they see fit. There’s no yardwork, maintenance or cleaning to worry about. They’re steps, rather than miles, away from friends and social activities. They can be as social or private as they wish.
Aging in place sounds idyllic on the surface, but in reality, for many seniors, it becomes lonely and difficult. Remaining in their homes often allows seniors to remain in the homes they have been in for years or decades. However, with age, mobility and health problems that often arise, seniors essentially become shut-ins in those homes. Unable to drive or move easily, many aging-in-place seniors decide going out is simply too much trouble. Their social interaction depends on when friends and loved ones are able to visit. With limited mobility, everyday tasks become difficult. Home maintenance tasks, such as changing light bulbs, vacuuming, getting the mail and cleaning the bathroom, can become daunting.
There’s a well-known saying: Familiarity breeds contempt. A senior who feels trapped in his or her home may come to despise it. He or she may have fought for independence, but when a home becomes too difficult to navigate or maintain, it becomes a liability that holds the resident hostage and prevents growth and full enjoyment of life. Often, parents downsize when their children leave the nest and begin a new chapter of life. They decide to focus on themselves and pursuing what they love to do. Many seniors can benefit from a similar approach. Regardless of age, there are people to meet, challenges to tackle and rewarding experiences to be had!
If you are interested in learning what assisted living is really like, contact us at Village at Oakwood. Not only are we the top choice for affordable assisted living in Oklahoma City, we are the top choice for seniors seeking a wonderful quality of life.