The disadvantages of aging in place in the house that you own may not leap out at you when you start planning where you will live in retirement or where your loved one may want to live during this time. It can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful to discuss where you will live as time goes on. Wanting to maintain an independent and active lifestyle, many people choose to spend their retirement years in the same house where they spent most of their adult life. Thinking about your alternatives, you may flinch at the term “senior living” due to societal stigma or your preconceived ideas of what that would entail. However, while familiar environments can be comforting, there are a number of disadvantages to aging in place in your house that many do not consider at first glance.
Upside provides a more exciting and yet more practical way to age in place, living in a premium rental apartment in an age-diverse community with a maintenance-free lifestyle.
When thinking about where to live in retirement, convenience is a primary concern. Living alone or with just a significant other in a house may not be the most convenient option. Even if you are able to take care of the basics, it can be stressful to manage the day-to-day operations of your house. You may have a more enjoyable retirement if you don’t have to worry about conducting home repairs, cleaning, and other maintenance activities, or arranging for others to provide these services, paying for them, and ensuring that they are completed in a timely and adequate manner. You may find that it is more convenient to consider other housing options that take the burden of homeownership off your shoulders.
Your first instinct may be to believe that staying in the house you already own will be the most cost effective option for aging, but the truth is there are many unforeseen expenses people do not consider. While your house may suit your needs now, future changes may push you into a new situation anyway. Your house was not designed for the new you in this exciting new stage of your life.
You may need to engage in costly house renovations in order to make sure it’s a convenient and comfortable place for you as you age, versus obtaining accessible housing elsewhere. You might incur additional costs that add up if you hire outside services to do yard work, house cleaning, and transportation. Finding a living space to optimize your mental and physical wellness can be expensive if you try to construct it piecemeal on top of what you already have, so there’s a lot to be said about living somewhere already optimized for your new lifestyle.
One of the main disadvantages of aging in place in the house where you have spent your midlife is the potential for loneliness. As reported by the CDC, about one-fourth of adults over age 65 are considered socially isolated. One aspect of aging in place in a house that may not occur to you right away is that your friends may not be in the same living situation. You may find that your neighbors and nearby friends are moving into different situations, so you no longer have close companions. This is different from an apartment community, where you would have many.
You may also find that your family is unable to be present consistently enough with you to combat loneliness. Even if you intend to depend on your children or other relatives, they may not have the financial means and time to visit your home frequently. Additionally, you may find that in between even frequent visits, you feel isolated when living alone, or with only your significant other, in your own home.
It’s worth noting that isolation can also lead to serious health risks, and many studies have concluded that isolation is more likely to result in premature deaths. In order to maintain your mental health and a sense of connection, it’s essential to maintain friendships and regular contact with others.
When you remain in your own home, you are essentially your own “social coordinator.” Particularly when you no longer have work and family routines, you may find that your days feel somewhat purposeless or that you lack direction, ultimately leading to less enjoyment of life. Alternatives to aging in place at home may include access to activities such as cultural events or opportunities such as learning a new skill that will help you to feel more connected to your community and to have a more fun, vibrant lifestyle.
Ultimately, it is your decision how you want to spend your retirement years, but there are many options for how you can live them. To make this decision, it is essential to think deeply and critically about what you want your life to look like as you begin this new chapter. Consider a change of environment to maintain your active lifestyle, and remember it is possible to be independent, maintain connections with friends and family, and thrive by living life on your own terms.
After considering the disadvantages of aging in place in the house you own, you may be wondering what your other options are. Upside offers premium, maintenance-free rentals, in beautiful mixed-age apartment communities all across South Florida. Our communities are hubs of activity for our members, so you can focus on meeting new friends and living life to the fullest without the hassles of homeownership.
Upside members enjoy regular meet-ups, basic cable and high-speed internet, streamlined billing, and on-demand services like grocery and prescription delivery, transportation, access to fun events, and more! Best of all, our services are customizable as your desires change over time and can all be arranged with the assistance of your Upside Manager. Contact us for more information about how Upside can help you or your loved one enjoy independence and community while creating your ideal lifestyle.