Many elders insist on staying at home, rather than transitioning to an independent or assisted living facility. I’ve been advising against doing this for years. Long-term care at home may cause isolation or possibly even caregiver abuse. Existing studies already prove the importance of social interaction for those needing LTC. Staying at home is not as safe from a medication management, home maintenance, proper nutritional and safety and security standpoint, either. Now, a new study, titled, “Myths & Realities of Continuing Care Retirement Facilities (CCRC’s)” backs me up on this.
The study was performed by nationally recognized gerontologist Ken Dyhtwald of Age Wave and sponsored by Vi (71 South Wacker Drive, Suite 900,Chicago,IL 60606), a leader in senior living that currently operates ten continuing care retirement communities (CRCCs).
With careful research, the study debunks these five “myths:”
1. “My current home will be the best possible place to live in my post-retirement years.”
2. “My current home is the best option to continue an active social life and stay connected with my friends.”
3. “It’s less expensive and more financially secure for me to stay in my current home.”
4. “It would be easy to get any care I need at home.”
5. “CCRCs are filled with old people who are sick and dying.”
The cost of Vi’s typical CCRC is approximately $2,800 per month, which covers rent, food, and all social/learning activities. Even if your mortgage is paid off, property taxes, home insurance, utilities, food, transportation, maintenance/repairs, etc can add up to a very big number!
When it’s time to progress to assisted living, compared to the average $55,000 per year cost for home health care, the average cost of $39,000 per year in an assisted living facility looks pretty attractive.
And, as always, the good news is that home health care care or assisted living at a CCRC will be covered by your long-term care insurance policy.
I urge all seniors to visit some CCRCs in their area to see what a supportive, friendly home they offer. I think you’ll find that these myths fade away very quickly.