You or someone you know may be reluctant to move to a senior living community. We get it. It’s a big change. That reluctance may be based on various concerns or fears about what living in a senior living community is like.
Here are some of the most common fears.
Fear 1: Moving to senior living will mean that I’m giving up.
This is based on the assumption that only people who can’t cope on their own move to senior living communities – an assumption that’s just not true. In fact, once you visit a senior living community or two, it becomes clear that a lot of people living there have chosen to move there to enjoy life more.
Yes, they may get help with things like homemaking, personal care, or medication management (if they’re living in assisted living), but they also have lots of opportunities to explore new interests, stay active, and make new social connections. Some people liken life in a retirement community to life on a cruise ship.
Fear 2: I’ll lose my independence.
The assumption here is that after you move to senior living, you’ll no longer be calling the shots. You’ll have to follow the community’s routine. Choice will be a thing of the past.
Again, this isn’t the case. Don’t feel like attending a group activity? No problem. Just hang out in your private apartment if that’s what you want to do. Watch TV. Read a book.
Prefer to go out for supper rather than eating in the community’s dining room? Sure thing. It’s your choice.
Life in a senior living community is as flexible as you want it to be.
You may be worried whether friends and family will come to visit you in a senior living community. Will your apartment feel as welcoming as your current home? Where will you entertain them?
The good news is that many senior living communities have private facilities you can use to welcome guests if you don’t feel that your apartment is big enough to comfortably accommodate everyone. What’s more, you can get family events catered through the community’s kitchen so that you can spend less time worrying whether your guests have enough to eat and drink and more time simply enjoying their company.
Fear 4: It will cost too much and I’ll run out of money.
You may worry that you won’t be able to afford the cost of senior living. The monthly fees may be higher than you expected, especially when you consider your current living expenses.
But here’s the thing to realize. There may be a lot of living expenses included in the monthly fees for senior living, things like meal costs if you choose to eat your meals in the community’s dining facilities. And if that’s the case, you won’t have to pay for groceries anymore, a significant saving. You also won’t have to pay for things like property tax or property maintenance.
If you want an accurate comparison of the cost of living in your current home and living in a senior living community, check out our post on the topic.
Also keep in mind that if you’re selling your current home, the proceeds from its sale can pay for senior living either in whole or in part. There are also other funding sources to consider.
Senior living may be more affordable than you think.
Fear 5: Moving to a smaller place means I’ll have to get rid of a lot of my stuff.
There’s no denying that downsizing can be a difficult task, both physically and emotionally. In fact, the thought of it may stop you in your tracks.
But if keeping up your current home has become a hassle and you know that a fresh start would do you good, should you let your possessions decide where you live?
As daunting as thinning out your belongings can be, many people express profound relief after doing it. They don’t feel weighed down anymore. And they have the satisfaction of knowing they haven’t left the task to their kids to do for them at some point in the future.
If sorting through your things feels overwhelming, consider asking for help either from family, friends or professionals who specialize in downsizing.