Age segregated housing, like senior living apartments and retirement villages, has both benefits and drawbacks. Some seniors really benefit from being surrounded by other similarly aged residents, while others may find themselves unhappy in such a living situation. If you or someone that you love is considering moving into senior housing, it may help to take a look at the negatives and positives to find out whether or not it's the right choice for you. Choosing where to spend the rest of your life is a big decision, and it's important to make the right decision.
Negatives of Senior Housing
One of the biggest drawbacks to senior housing is the fact that the move means that the senior will have to leave their current home. For many seniors, the prospect of leaving the home that they've lived in for many years is emotionally devastating. It also raises the question of what to do with the house once they leave it. Many seniors are not financially able to maintain two different households, so selling their home to move into a senior living apartment might be the only way to make it work. But this can also interfere with plans to leave a home to an adult child or other beneficiary.
Finally, in some locations, moving into senior housing may mean moving farther away from family members, friends, and community support networks, like a church. Not all seniors have a strong support system, but those that do may find it difficult or undesirable to remove themselves from it by moving into a senior-only community.
Positives of Senior Housing
On the other side of the coin are seniors that feel alone and lonely living in their current homes. For many seniors, the death of a spouse or similarly aged friends can leave them feeling isolated. When adult children move away or start their own families, the feeling is compounded. Some of the realities of aging, like mobility limitations, make it hard for seniors to get out and meet new people, so the loneliness builds. According to studies, these feelings of isolation are health hazards. They can increase a senior's mortality risk about as much as cigarette smoking, and more than obesity.
A senior living community such as The Courtyards at River Park makes it easy for seniors to meet and interact with others, and for a lonely senior, access to friends and companionship can literally be a lifesaver. Senior housing also makes other things easier. There is less maintenance to be performed. Senior villages are laid out with convenience in mind, so there is less need to drive. Also, senior housing is usually located near hospitals and nursing facilities, so medical help is usually within easy reach.
While it's not for everyone, senior living does bring a lot of advantages to the table, and it should definitely be considered as an option. If you or a loved one is considering senior housing, arrange to take a tour of several nearby senior apartments and see what they have to offer. You may be surprised by how much you like what you see.