Choosing the right place for retirement is one of the most important decisions that you will make during this time of life. After all, as a retiree, you'll be spending more time at home than you were when employment obligations were a part of your normal routine, so your immediate environment will count very much toward your total quality of life. Now that senior citizens are living longer, healthier lives than ever before, many are choosing to remain in their existing homes and age-in-place rather than moving to a senior living community. Both options have advantages, but one might be better for you than the other. The following are just three of the many questions you should ask yourself while making this decision.
Is Your Current Home Equipped for Aging in Place?
Many homes that are ideal for raising a family aren't quite suitable for aging-in-place. Although you can always customize your home to make it safer, such as placing grab bars near showers, tubs, sinks, and toilets and having nonslip flooring installed, some aspects aren't so easily modified. Perhaps they have multi-levels, or maybe they have huge yards that require a significant amount of upkeep.
It's probably possible to remodel almost any home to make it suitable for seniors opting to age-in-place, and yard work can always be performed by paid landscape services, but these solutions may be cost-prohibitive for some. Could You Live in a Your Current Home Without a Car? Most younger retirees keep driving with no problems whatsoever, but if you plan on aging-in-place, you need to consider whether or not you could live in your current home if the time comes when you are no longer able to drive your own vehicle. Retirement communities often offer transportation options to residents and are usually situated in areas with easy access to amenities such as medical offices, grocery stores, retail establishments, and entertainment venues. Is Your Neighborhood Secure? Unfortunately, retirees are frequently the victims of opportunistic thieves. Neighborhoods safety quotients change over the years, especially in those where commercial activity is replacing single-family residences or where the neighborhood has simply become run down. Your local police precinct can provide you with crime statistics for your area. Keep in mind that retirement communities often offer optimal safety measures, such as security guards, gates, and front-desk personnel on duty at all times. These are only a few of the things to consider when deciding whether to age-in-place or move to a retirement community. Like any other type of decision, you'll have a better chance of making the one that's best for you if you're armed with as much information as possible.