Over 30? Let’s Talk Senior Living Options
From Senior Year to Senior Living
It's never too early to talk about senior living options. You may not have even started your family yet, but it's the "earlier the better" when it comes to retirement planning. If you're in your 40s or 50s, it's even more essential to give some serious consideration about some possible future homes.
When was the last time you thought about where you will live during your final stage of life, or who would take care of you?
If you’re like most people, this isn’t something that you think about often, or at all.
That’s a mistake.
Preparing for the unknown
Letting the years go by without adequately planning for your senior years can leave you in a state of anxiety, helplessness, and hopelessness during a time you should appreciate the fruits of your labor.
Just imagine entering your 80s suffering from a range of medical issues. You may become forgetful and unsteady on your feet, increasing your risk of falling. Living alone becomes dangerous for you.
So, what do you do?
Your kids will have their own lives to manage. While they may say they will care for you, caregiving is exhausting and can take its toll on someone quickly. This can end up damaging the relationship you have with them.
That’s not the memory you want to create towards the end of your life.
Senior Living Options
You may be fortunate enough to stay put in your beloved home throughout your golden years. But life's twists and turns leave us with no real certainties. Circumstances can change at any time, and it's better to be safe than sorry and seriously review senior living options.
Senior living prospects fall into a few categories, and each one provides a different level of care:
1. Retirement Community (Independent Living Community)
Retirement communities vary in what they bring to the table. Some are communities with homes exclusively owned by seniors (people 65 years old or older). Others have staff on the property to help residents with daily living skills, medication management, transportation, etc. Seniors live independently or with another senior in this type of living option.
2. Nursing Home
The next level of care is a nursing home. It’s ideal for people who can’t live independently because of cooking, cleaning, and daily living skills become risky. Nursing homes are beneficial for people who need more medication monitoring to ensure your medical issues remain stable.
3. Assisted Living
Assisted living facilities have Registered Nurses (RNs) and doctors on staff. This will ensure you have medical supervision at all times. This would be perfect if you’re suffering from a serious medical issue or need daily physical therapy for rehabilitation.
While assisted living facilities can be a temporary option for people who have been released from the hospital following medical treatment, some people do use this living option as a permanent one.
4. Hospice Care
Hospice care is an option when you’re nearing the end of your life. This facility provides a comfortable and peaceful place as you go through the dying process. Medical staff is available to keep you as pain-free as possible.
Senior Living Costs
The cost of senior living varies, and most are either not covered by insurance or insurance is not accepted. The average price in the United States for senior living options is $4,000 a month, with a range of $1,500 to $6,000.
Factors involved in the cost of those senior living options include:
● The services provided to residents.
● Location of the facility.
● Level of care provided to residents.
● Amenities offered at the facility.
● Accreditations and certifications the facility has received.
What to Do Now
When it comes to retirement planning, saving is the most important step you should take now.
You should have at least $480,000 accumulated by the time you’re ready to move on to your next phase in life. This will lessen the burden your children will have someday providing and finding senior care for you.
Document a Senior Living Plan
It may also be in your best interest to communicate and document your desired senior living options. For instance, you may want to move into a retirement community at 65+, and once you’re unable to live safely independently, move into an assisted living facility or nursing home, depending on your medical needs.
If you know of the facilities you are most interested in, identify those, so there are no disagreements between your children on where you would like to live.
The preparation you do now not only benefits you later in life but also your children. You’ve cared for them and their needs for many years, and this is just another way you’re doing it. This way, they don’t have to endure the stressors of caregiving, and you can live comfortably and safely with others during a new stage of life.
We tend to think of senior living as something that we don't need to consider until we're close to retirement. But the earlier that we start planning, the better off we'll be in the future. After all, who wants to deal with even more stress when we're suppose to be enjoying life?
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