Aging in Place or Nursing Home: Which is Better?
101 Mobility investigates the advantages/disadvantages of staying at home versus moving to a nursing home.
When you turn 65 (if you haven’t already), where do you think you’d like to stay if given the choice: at home or a nursing home?
If you picked at home, you’re not alone. According to the AARP, over 90% of people 65 and older say they plan to stay in their current homes as long as possible. And while some situations call for the around-the-clock care that only nursing homes can bring, others are finding it possible to “age in place” right at home through accessibility products and services.
But what is “aging in place?” Put simply: Aging in place is a term used to describe the act of someone who lives in the home of their choosing, for as long as possible, as they continue to age. It’s seniors having the freedom to choose where they live, abiding by their own rules, and staying connected with their current communities.
The choice of whether to put yourself (or a loved one) in a nursing home or continue to stay at home is a deeply situational and personal one. However, are there any benefits of picking one over the other?
That’s why 101 Mobility, a leading provider of mobility and accessibility solutions throughout the nation, decided to find out:
Did you know that the average nursing home in America costs around $80,000 a year? Yikes!
Not only are nursing homes pricey, but their costs are continuing to increase year-after-year. This is due to rising expenses from insurance, food, labor costs, and general building maintenance.
Now, your next question probably is: “Well how much does aging in place cost?” The honest answer is that it varies. However if your home only requires a stair lift (average of $3,500) and a couple of aluminum ramps (average of $4,000) to become accessible again, you’ll definitely find yourself saving money by staying put at home.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a substantial percentage of those age 65 and older completely own their homes. That means they have no more mortgage payments to worry about! And even if a senior citizen decided to sell their home, these homes are typically harder to market due to being older and less likely to have been recently updated.
So it only makes sense that people would want to hold on to their home’s investment for as long as they can.
VERDICT: Not only do most people prefer to stay in their homes, it can also be a smarter decision financially.
Let’s face it… If you (or a loved one) have a serious condition that requires 24/7 supervision, a nursing home is likely the best choice for your situation.
On the other hand, if you are healthy enough and able to safely maneuver about your home through the use of accessibility products, aging in place might be the better option.
There are many products available on the market today that are built specifically for allowing seniors to stay in their homes as long (and as safely!) as possible. There are medical alert services like Philips Lifeline, where emergency assistance can be dispatched at the push of a button. There are also products like stair lifts, wheelchair lifts, ramps, and bathroom safety products that help to reduce the likelihood of an at-home fall. No matter what accessibility need you might have, you’d be surprised to see how many options are really available.
Yet, even if you are fully able to get around your house, it’s always a great idea to have a family member or home health worker check-in frequently to make sure everything is going okay.
Consider this: The average cost of a home health aide visiting your home for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week is around $29,640 per year. Compare that to the average cost of a nursing home ($80,000 a year) and you quickly see how affordable staying at home can really be.
VERDICT: If someone requires around-the-clock support due to poor health, a nursing home might be the only option. However, if only limited support is required, staying at home could be just as safe (and cheaper).
Unfortunately, you’re not done yet! If you do decide you’d like to age in place at home, there are plenty of other things you should take into account.
For example, you’ll want to ask yourself:
- “Should I do any major home remodeling?”
- “How will I find transportation?”
- “How will I purchase food and other supplies?”
- “What ways can I maintain my health?”
- “Can I make sure I get enough daily social interaction?”
So no matter whether you choose to stay at home or transfer to a nursing facility, it’s important to plan ahead. Start by talking to your doctor or family members about what choice might be best for your situation.
VERDICT: Having a plan in place can go a long way toward deciding which option would be best for you! Ask your health care physician or family members about their honest opinion on the matter.
About 101 Mobility
101 Mobility is a full-service franchise business that specializes in mobility and accessibility equipment. Products include stair lifts, ramps, auto lifts, patient lifts, pool lifts, bath lifts, vertical platform lifts, and more. Visit 101Mobility.com to learn more.
101 Mobility franchisees are supplied with geo-specific online marketing campaigns, in-person training, on-going support, and a proprietary business management platform. Visit 101MobilityFranchise.com to find more information about our franchise process.