Is Aging in Place at Home Really Less Expensive? | Five Star Senior Living

Is Aging in Place at Home Really Less Expensive?

  • March 11, 2016

Aging in place is a phrase used more and more often in senior care. It can mean many things. The most popular definition of the phrase refers to a senior’s desire to remain in their private home as they grow old. Families often believe this is the most economical choice because many seniors live in a home that is free of a mortgage.

Is it really less expensive to age in place at home even if the mortgage is paid in full?

The True Costs of Aging in Place

The truth is that a mortgage is only one expense associated with aging in place. Older adults who choose to remain in their private home will still incur additional expenses ranging from homeowner’s insurance to home modifications.

Additional costs to maintain the home include:

  • Property taxes
  • Homeowner’s insurance,
  • Utilities
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Lawn care and snow removal
  • Housekeeping and laundry assistance
  • Groceries and meal preparation support

On top of the costs to maintain the home are the expenses associated with private duty home care services and home modifications.

The Average Cost of Home Care in the U.S.

As the adult’s health status changes, they will often require in-home care services to provide support with:

  • Medication reminders and management
  • Personal care needs like bathing and dressing
  • Toileting and/or incontinence care
  • Transportation to and from appointments

Home care agencies can provide a caregiver to help with personal care and household tasks. But the costs can add up fairly quickly depending upon what area of the country the senior lives in.

In 2015, the average cost of in-home care was $20 and hour. Many agencies have minimum hourly requirements a patient must meet on a weekly or monthly basis.

Home Modifications Expenses for Seniors

Another expense to consider is what it will take to renovate an older adult’s home to keep them safe. If they live in an older home as many seniors do, it might be necessary to renovate the bathroom to create a step-free shower and install grab bars. Ramps and wider doorways are other common expenses.

According to a MetLife survey, common capital investments required to age in place are:

  • Bathroom renovations: $3,500 to $35,000
  • Creating wider doorways: $800 to $1,200
  • Ramps and lifts: $2,500 to $20,000
  • Grab bars: $250 per set

Quality of Life

Before you embark on an expensive home modification project, it might be advantageous to learn more about the cost of a senior living community and the advantages they offer. You might be surprised to discover how affordable it can be.

Instead of living alone and feeling isolated, an older adult can be a part of a thriving community of peers. Nutritious meals. Life enrichment programs. A safe environment. These are just a few ways a senior living community helps to improve an older adult’s quality of life.

We invite you to call the Five Star Senior Living community nearest you to learn more.

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