Where you live is a huge decision that can affect everything from your relationships to your hobbies and health. Make sure you know all your senior living options before you make any decisions. Both in-home care and Life Plan Communities (also known as continuing care retirement communities or CCRCs) are options that can help you stay happy and healthy. Indeed, many seniors end up using both at some point during their retirement, so it’s wise to educate yourself about each option.
Here’s how to tell which one is right for you, both now and down the road.
Senior Living Options: Life Plan Community
A Life Plan Community, simply put, is a community that offers both independent living and care options on one campus. These communities are all-inclusive, offering an experience designed to support you to live your best life as you determine. This includes ready access to social and cultural opportunities; fitness programs; fresh, healthy foods; and more.
Life Plan Communities provide:
- Independent living, often in apartments or cottage homes.
- Care options. If your needs change, you’ll have priority access to assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing rehabilitation available right on campus.
- A low-stress lifestyle thanks to maintenance-free living.
- Rich opportunities for lifelong learning, growth and wellness.
- The opportunity to stay active and social without sacrificing your independence, privacy or time to yourself.
Life Plan Community residents relish the freedom they gain. Without having to worry about home maintenance or house expenses, residents gain more time to enjoy the things that are most important to them. Life Plan Communities bring predictability to your budget and comfort to your life.
Relationships make life worth living. They challenge and fulfill us, support us and nurture our hopes for the future. Life Plan Communities place relationships front and center. Living with others in a community setting offers built-in opportunities to form friendships and have fun staying active and social. Isolation can be deadly. Living in a community setting doesn’t just feel good; it’s good for you.
If you and your spouse have different needs — whether because you have vastly different interests or because one of you has specific health challenges — Life Plan Communities can help with that too.
Life Plan Communities support couples to allow them to stay together by:
- Offering the right level of support for each member of the couple.
- Reducing caregiver burnout and fatigue if one member of the couple is caring for the other.
- Catering to the interests and desires of both members of the couple. You can enjoy meaningful joint activities or separate for the day to pursue different activities in the same community.
- Offering a welcoming, diverse, supportive community where you can each make new friends.
Senior Living Options: In-Home Care
Remaining in your home or moving in with a loved one is a great way to maintain the lifestyle you already enjoy. Living at home means staying in a familiar place rich with memories. It can also mean more time with grandchildren and other loved ones. With the right support, you can even keep living at home if you have complex medical needs. Home health aides and grocery delivery services can empower you to pull together the right combination of services.
There are challenges too. It’s often more expensive to remain at home, particularly if you need daily support or complex medical care. You’ll be paying for this on top of the usual costs of maintaining a household. You may also have fewer opportunities for meaningful connection and social engagement. This can lead to isolation. And while it’s certainly possible to participate in lots of activities and hobbies at home, doing so requires quite a bit of planning and may involve significant extra expense.
Living at home means continuing to manage a household and all that entails, whether it’s the broken gutters or the lawn in dire need of mowing. It’s also expensive, especially if you begin relying on outside support — grocery delivery, caregivers and home maintenance, to name just a few. Life Plan Communities relieve this burden, helping you manage your budget and your time while living life on your own terms.
Making the Decision
So which option is right for you? The truth is there is no one-size-fits-all senior living solution. Some signs that remaining at home could be the better choice for you include:
- You’re happy with your current living arrangement and feel that all of your needs are being met.
- You have the right support and care from loved ones or a paid team.
- Paying for any additional support you need does not pose a financial burden.
- You don’t feel lonely or isolated and have the time and resources to enjoy meaningful hobbies, activities and outings.
But what if living at home isn’t working out, or you’re not sure what your next move should be? Some signs that it might be time to consider a Life Plan Community include:
- You’re ready to make new friends, love staying connected and enjoy an active social life.
- You’re ready to say goodbye to home maintenance and spend more time doing activities that bring you joy.
- You’re not enjoying the retirement activities you thought you would, and you’re looking for more meaningful events, programs and activities.
- You value proactively planning for yourself.
- You don’t want any stress about the future and feel great about the fact that if you ever need additional support, you’ll get it.
Want to learn more about different senior living options? Download our full guide here.