Aging in Place vs. Retirement Communities

There are several instances where people age in their own home and wait until their health diminishes before moving to a retirement community. We urge seniors to be cautious and to think of what’s ultimately best for them in the long-run.

Join a retirement community or age in place? It’s a choice everyone will have to make at some point in their lives. The senior population will soon double. The Population Reference Bureau projects that by 2060 nearly 100 million Americans will be 65 or older. This means a lot of seniors, and children of seniors, will be forced to make big decisions. According to AARP, 90 percent of people plan to age in their homes.

Aging in Place is Familiar

Brian Kramer, a Cottage Grove Place employee, agreed this is usually people’s natural preference.

“It’s familiar to them and people feel it can be difficult to move,” Brian said.

Helen Rodenberg, 81, currently resides in Cottage Grove Place’s retirement community. Cottage Grove offers various levels of care. Helen specifically resides in independent living. She advises seniors take a more proactive approach to their living situations as opposed to a reactive approach.

As she aged, Helen said her mobility became limited and she felt increasingly lonely and isolated while living in her home.

“I always felt if circumstances required it, I would move to a retirement community,” Helen said.

Moving to a Retirement Community is not the Same as Moving to a Nursing Home

People often get retirement communities like Cottage Grove confused with nursing homes according to Brian.

“We do have skilled nursing here in the community, but when you come here, you’re independent just like you are in your home,” Kramer said. “Everyone ages in place before they come here. The reason they come here is because they are tired of home maintenance, they don’t want to cook anymore, and they want to know who will take care of them, if their health diminishes.”

Helen mirrors these sentiments. She said she enjoys the same freedoms she would at home while given the opportunity to socialize and maintain her home with ease.

“I am not forced to be alone,” she said. “If I want to visit someone, I can always find someone to talk to. If I have a situation requiring maintenance, I simply put in a work order with the front desk, and it’s taken care of.”

Retirement Community Costs are Comparable to Aging in Place

Brian said it’s common for seniors to think living in a retirement community is too costly. The cost difference is not as dramatic as it may seem. According to AARP, senior-friendly home modifications can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000. In addition, visiting caregiver services run about $4,000 per month. To make financial planning for a retirement community easier and to understand which type of residential option make work best for you, Cottage Grove Place offers a FREE personalized assessment that takes you age, income and other assets into consideration.

Plan Ahead for Your Move, Take Advantage of the Retirement Community’s Amenities While You Can

There are certainly benefits and challenges to both options. However, Helen said even if you plan to age in your home, you should be prepared to change your plans if your health demands it.

There are several instances where people age in their own home and wait until their health diminishes before moving to a retirement community Brian said, but he urges seniors to be cautious and to think of what’s ultimately best for them in the long-run.

“I would take advantage of this while you’re still healthy and you can enjoy the services and amenities that a retirement community will offer,” Brian said. “If something happens later in life, you have peace of mind knowing that you never have to move, because Cottage Grove Place has all levels of care, if you need it.”

Want to Know More? Schedule a Tour!

Want to learn more about what Cottage Grove Place has to offer? Schedule a tour of our facilities and see if our retirement community is right for you!