November 17, 2021
- You may think aging in place is the best plan for you. But have you looked at all the options?
- A Life Plan Community may be your best choice for several reasons
- This comparison looks at 5 key categories to help you make the decision
The appeal of aging in place in our own homes is understandable: We want to live somewhere that’s comfortable and familiar to us, where we’ve made many memories with family and friends. We know our neighborhood, our neighbors, our routes to the places where we like to shop and dine. We know our doctor, our pharmacist. We even know the postal carrier.
But is this story you keep telling yourself really reality or is this more of a fictional Mayberry? For many older adults, especially those who have lived in their homes for decades, their neighborhoods have changed around them with new neighbors with young families, or new social circles, and new construction. Or different stores and restaurants. It’s not as common to know people on a first-name basis anymore. And the pharmacist and doctor both retired from practice.
There IS an option that older adults have found that fits their wants and needs. It’s a Life Plan Community, and when compared to aging in place, it’s appealing to people who had previously never imagined themselves living anywhere but in their homes. In fact, many of these people will say they wish they’d made their move sooner.
Why? Let’s do some side-by-side comparisons.
Life Plan Community vs. Aging in Place
- Wellness in mind, body and spirit.
If you aspire to age in place, you’ll want to continue to live well in body, as well as in mind and spirit. What will that look like? Will you be driving to a fitness center or have an exercise system set up in your home? If you want to practice your faith, you’ll need to drive to your center of worship. And to maintain good nutrition, you’ll need to grocery shop regularly and prepare all your meals (and find new recipes along the way to keep things interesting).
Or, at a Life Plan Community, you could simply open the door of your private residence and walk to the on-site fitness center where there’s senior-specific equipment and certified fitness instructors available to help you meet your personal goals. You can visit the local church or you could use the community shuttle, where organized transportation is available to take you where you want to go. Or visit one of the multiple dining venues, where chef-prepared, seasonally changing menus are available at each meal.
Anyone who’s ever owned a home knows the responsibilities that come with it: lawn care, housekeeping, landscape upkeep, gutter and downspout cleaning, pool maintenance, painting, pest control. Of course, there’s also the big-ticket items to worry about — replacing the roof, HVAC, adding insulation when necessary, repairing or replacing old appliances, installing more energy-efficient windows.
Or, you can leave all that — yes, all that, and more — to the maintenance staff at a Life Plan Community. That’s just a fraction of what your monthly service fee pays for.
- Social opportunities.
You’re fairly active socially. You have a close circle of friends, although some have relocated to be closer to their grandkids. Still, you try to get together for tea, live performances and an occasional dinner out. Or maybe you have none of these things, but you’d certainly like to add them to your life. How do you go about meeting new friends? Making new acquaintances can be a challenge.
Or, you stay as active as you choose to be at a Life Plan Community. These communities are home to residents with diverse careers, backgrounds and life experiences. They’re interesting, engaging older adults who want to continue to learn, explore, reach out to others and reach for more. If you live in a Life Plan Community in California, for instance, you may meet people active in the arts or engaged in social justice issues. You may meet others who share a passion for green initiatives, or who enjoy a Zen-inspired lifestyle. A world of people and possibilities are always available to you.
- Learning and personal growth.
As an independent thinker, you’ve shaped the course of your entire life. You’ve been proactive in maintaining your health and home, your professional and personal goals, and your nest egg. And there’s no reason for any of that to change, regardless of whether you plan to age in place or opt to move to a senior living community.
However, as you age it may become more difficult to balance the responsibilities on your own. You’ve more than earned the opportunity to let go of life’s burdens and embrace the potential of life’s experiences. At a Life Plan Community like Enso Village, you have so much available to explore at your pace: lifelong learning, volunteering, a 15-acre campus of people and possibilities, Sonoma County, San Francisco, and the world beyond. All you need is your sense of adventure and a starting direction. Once you close your residence door and go, the community takes care of everything else. You really don’t even need to lock your door behind you.
- A life plan.
You may be quite healthy today. But what if you one day need more assistance? Will you be able to bring assistance into your home? Or will you move into a location that provides additional assistance? Will you need to move again if your needs progress — if you need memory support, skilled nursing or other support services? Is that care going to be of the quality you would expect? Do you know who is providing your care, and how much it will cost? Do you want to be moving to a new unknown place when you are at your most vulnerable, or when you have the ability to be in control of your decisions and put down roots?
When you choose a Life Plan Community, you truly have a life plan. As an independent living resident, you have access to higher levels of care right on-site. If you need it, you know you’ll receive that care on the same campus. And you know you’ll pay less-than-market rates for it. Life Plan Communities in California are licensed and regulated by the state, so you can have confidence in the quality of care, and in the people providing it to you.
When comparing aging in place versus a Life Plan Community, it doesn’t have to be an either-or decision. You can age in place successfully at a Life Plan Community like Enso Village.
If you’d like to experience the harmony of living in a Zen-inspired community setting with all of the senior living amenities you need, we encourage you to reach out to us. Our staff can help you envision a side-by-side comparison of your life today versus what your life could look like at Enso Village. Learn more at enso.kendal.org.