In 2011, the first Americans born to the baby boomer generation will begin the advancement toward retirement. Long-awaited travel and relaxation plans will commence, and the concern over future living arrangements will also gain momentum.
In parts 1 and 2 of the Aging in Place series, we discussed the physical and emotional health benefits of staying in the home as well as available safety and security modifications. Part 3 will describe the financial advantages of staying in the home versus moving to an institutional living environment.
As a reminder, Aging in Place helps people stay in their homes as they age by making modifications to the structure, amenities, and features of the home. The National Home Builders Association defines Aging in Place as “the pleasure of living in a familiar environment throughout one’s maturing years, and the ability to enjoy the familiar daily rituals and special events that enrich all our lives.”
The Financial Benefits of Aging in Place
According to a four-year study conducted by Nursing Outlook journal, the total care costs for seniors aging in place were thousands less than traditional care options. This means that, even after factoring in the cost of modifications and in-home care, a person will spend far less by staying in their home.
At some point, the amount of in-home care patients will outnumber the amount of available caregivers. As the number of individuals that require in-home care increases so will the cost of care. Yet, the investment is still lower when compared to that of a nursing home or assisted living facility.
In a survey completed by Genworth Financial, it was revealed:
- Average cost of a private room in nursing home – $76, 460/year or $209/day
- National average of assisted living – $36, 090/year
- In-home care for non-Medicare individual – $18-19/hour
In addition to the up front savings, those that choose to stay at home during their older years can take advantage of many community services. There are a number of private organizations and government subsidized programs that are available to senior citizens, including bus service, home-delivered meals, and help with rent or utility bills.
Equally as compelling as the financial advantages of Aging in Place are the mental and emotional benefits. While staying in one’s home provides significant cost savings, Aging in Place also offers seniors the daily challenges not offered by other care facilities. For details, read Part 1 and Part 2 of the Aging in Place series.
Choosing where to live out your days is a major decision for both you and your children. When considering the options, remember that Aging in Place makes it possible to compensate for the shortcomings we assume as we age. Talk to your family, your doctor, and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) about the full spectrum of benefits of staying in the home.