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As you grow older, it might seem that remaining in your home would be the most cost-effective way to live. After all, if your mortgage is paid off, you probably have fewer bills to pay each month.

Why would you ever consider leaving it for a retirement home? The truth is, there are many factors – including mental and physical health – that make aging in place more costly than moving to senior apartments.

While a fully owned home does reduce the expenses of housing, you may have to absorb the cost of services to provide daily or seasonal tasks that are part of owning a home – or you might be forced to delegate them to family and friends.


What Is Aging in Place?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one's own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”

Staying in your home means that you continue to live in your own house or apartment as you have in the past, with the same furnishings and the same community around you. And that can certainly have its benefits.

However, you may have to make expensive modifications to your home to ensure it is a safe place to live as you age. There is usually a one-time cost, with general maintenance and repairs that are ongoing.


Modifications for Aging in Place

Your own needs vary, according to your home's layout and your personal needs. Most modifications are made with safety and mobility in mind, allowing you to enter, exit, or reach areas of the home. Here are a few common modifications:

  • Removing steps and installing outdoor ramps and handrails for wheelchair access and easier access for those with mobility issues. Many cities require permits for construction.
  • Widening hallways and doorways for walker and wheelchair access
  • Redesigning kitchen areas for easy access to appliances and dining areas.
  • Redesigning bathrooms to include walk-in shower units or bathtubs, installing safety handrails, Replacing standard toilets with "comfort height" toilets for ease of use.
  • Installing indoor stairlifts to allow access to upper levels or basements.
  • Replacing furniture with assistive seating or lifts to allow you to get out of chairs or beds on your own.
  • Installing non-slip or non-skid flooring durable enough for wheelchair or walker pressure.

These are some of the most surface-level costs of aging in place, but many of the largest costs accrued by remaining at home are not as easy to see.

Man using chainsaw to cut a tree


The Hidden Costs of Aging in Place

While there are some positives to aging in place, there might be new concerns you will have to deal with when choosing to stay at home. Your physical health and emotional wellbeing could be affected, which can impact mental health and lead to greater safety risks. While a fully-owned home does reduce the cost of shelter, there might be sacrifices — both financial and health-related.

Additionally, you could be forced to rely on family members and friends for completing some of the daily tasks. Loved ones are usually happy to help with medications, rides to appointments, and other home projects, but it can lead to caregiver burnout, especially when a high level of assistance is necessary.

Some of the hidden costs include:

  • Social Isolation and Loneliness. As you age, it becomes more difficult to get out into the world, visit others, and participate within your community. You may choose to stay at home and avoid the trouble. Your older friends and family members may decline your invitations to visit in your home, if they depend on ramps, wider doorways or halls, and modified bathrooms

    But isolation can be detrimental to your mental health. Having a strong social support group is important for preventing elderly loneliness and depression.


  • Health Care Issues. You may find that your comfort level of living at home has changed in the last few years. You have more limited range of motion or have balance issues, so you exercise less often. Friends and family have moved away or don't visit as often.

    Has cooking become more difficult? It may not be as fun as it was with a larger family. A variety of other conditions could make it necessary to have in-home services such as housekeepers, lawn and snow service, or dog walkers.


  • Personal Safety. You probably have a senior safety alert – a device that is usually worn around the neck and available to use if you need help. The device alerts and dispatches help as soon as possible. And it is only minutes away! However, you may have trouble activating the device if you are hurt.


  • Disaster Preparedness. You’ve stocked the basement with canned goods, candles, water, and the essentials in case the power goes out. Hurricanes, tornadoes, or flash floods can damage roof structures, break out windows and cause water damage. Water might be in short supply, so bathrooms and kitchens may not be in working order.


  • Home Repairs and Maintenance. Even after the house is paid in full, and all of the updates are made to make aging in place a safer solution, you still have to expect common house repairs, house updates, property taxes, and other costs. Homeowners pay around thousands of dollars per year on property taxes, utilities, and home insurance alone.

As you age in place, so does your home! Leaky roof? The cost of roof repairs can range from $350 to $3500, and your costs can easily soar beyond $7000 for a complete roof replacement.

Those creaky old porches and decks must be kept to safety standards, and driveways begin to crack and pit. Broken-down furnaces can make you steamed at the replacement cost.


Doctor talking to senior male patient


Take a Look at Senior Living Communities

After listing the costs of staying in the family home, you could decide to move into a senior living community. Retirement home living offers varying levels of care that can easily fit the needs of the individual.

For example, if you are fully capable of taking care of your personal needs but want to avoid the hassle of seasonal maintenance or repair, you may enjoy the comforts of a fully independent retirement home community.

If you need a little extra help, you could hire an outside care provider, or transition into an assisted living community to receive round-the-clock care. Holiday Retirement’s community management teams are ready to help you make an informed decision on the level of care you may need.


Are There Benefits to Living in Senior Housing?

Our independent senior living communities have a large number of amenities and services designed to give you peace of mind. Your needs, wants, and safety concerns are all taken care of!

You won’t have to worry about clearing driveways and sidewalks during winter weather, or gathering fallen branches during a summer storm. We stay updated on upcoming weather patterns, and have a disaster plan in place – our residents’ safety is our top priority!

During the recent pandemic, our teams immediately put safety and hygiene protocols in place, keeping our residents safe during the initial phases of the crisis.

When the CDC removed independent senior living communities from the first phase of vaccination administration, Holiday Retirement went into action. We arranged for vaccine clinics for more than 200 communities across the United States. As of October 1, 2021, Holiday Retirement has mandated vaccines for all incoming residents.

Woman caretaker in a mask talking to senior male with mask


You can sit back and enjoy your life! Our residents enjoy:

  • Spacious senior apartments or cottage-style homes
  • A single monthly fee that covers all services
  • Chef-prepared meals and all-inclusive dining services
  • On-site support team ready to assist you
  • A social calendar full of events, group gatherings, and outings
  • Transportation services
  • Housekeeping and linen services
  • Shared community areas, fitness rooms, computer labs, outdoor spaces
  • Recreational activities, sports, and clubs
  • Safety-focused layouts and floor plans
  • Lively Mobile Plus medical alert devices.

The average cost of independent senior living can vary according to your needs and your location. According to the American Seniors Housing Association, costs range from $1500 to $6000 per month. You may be surprised by how affordable retirement homes are when you compare the conveniences to the costs of aging in place. Food, housing, housekeeping, transportation, building security, and entertainment options are all wrapped into one monthly rate!

Senior man on bench at park


Independent Senior Living Near Me

If you or someone you love could benefit from living in one of our senior apartments, you can begin the search process by using our easy-to-use community locator tool. Holiday Retirement has hundreds of locations throughout the United States, allowing you to choose the perfect place to live.

You might want to stay close to your hometown or family members, or move to a completely different part of the country. There will be a Holiday Retirement home community that suits your needs.

Are you hesitant about independent living, or unsure you want to live in a certain location? Talk to us about a short-term rental of one of our retirement homes before making a long-term decision. And here’s another bonus: our permanent retirement home residents can enjoy one week of lodging free at any of our Holiday Retirement locations – even Hawaii!

Contact us today to learn more about retirement communities, payment options, and the independent lifestyle you’ll be able to enjoy!

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