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Aging at home in the right place

Most older Americans want to stay in their homes for as long as they possibly can. Almost all of us want to avoid moving into senior housing, until we have no other choice. Many seniors and people in their 50's agree some assistance might be needed in the future as our needs increase.

We have a choice to make: Hold onto the comforts we experience in our own home or settle for the lack of care and love found in may senior living facilities. the improved care found in senior housing.

But what if there was a way to bring the many functions of today’s assisted living into the home? That sounds like a luxury that only a comparative few can afford, but with the growth of smart technologies and on-demand services such as car transportation, personal concierge services or grocery and Rx delivery, it could actually be the more affordable option.

People have examined the cost of senior housing vs. aging in place at home with the support of on-demand services. The results were astounding. For older adults with relatively few needs, the cost of using on-demand services at home was higher than the nation’s monthly average entry cost of assisted living. However, for an elder who required more support, the cost of using on-demand services from home could was about half the cost of the nation’s average monthly assisted-living fee. Depending on what you are looking for based on your needs/wants you have to make the choice. contains a list of ten ways seniors can afford assisted living. In my opinion, some of these are not an option for the 50 and 60 year-olds. If you are currently 90 and living in assisted living, chances are you bought long-term care insurance. Today in your 50's the cost of long-term care insurance is through the roof. Less than 3% of Americans have long-term care insurance.

Do you have enough income and savings to total $5,000+ each month for assisted living? Many assisted living communities have requirements about being able to stand and pivot, walk using a walker, or only needing assistance by 1 person. When your needs change, they will recommend you move to skilled nursing, where the cost will almost double. Think about aging in place while you are young enough to modify the house if needed. Some examples are 36 inch doorways to accommodate wheelchairs. Lower sinks, no carpeting, a removable shower head extension, a possible ramp, grab bars in the bathroom, and a chair lift if your house is not on one story.

Which choice will you make? Make it now while you are still able. There is plenty of help available at the Orange County Department of Aging.

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