Aging Myth #1: My Home is the Best Place to Age Gracefully

April 19, 2017

While we all form strong emotional attachments to our home, for older adults, staying in a house can cause more harm than good. That’s because our needs change as we evolve as adults, and our house just can’t fulfill all of those needs. If you or someone you love is weighing the pros and cons of staying at home or moving to a retirement community, consider the following dangers of staying at home:

  • Falls are the leading cause of death due to injury among older adults. An unexpected trip on a rug or misstep on a stair can change your life radically overnight. Additionally, home security issues and fears of becoming a target for callous criminals can mount as we age. For those considering a move to a retirement community, the idea of having like-minded neighbors and staff always around can bring comfort and peace of mind.
  • At any age, the feeling of loneliness is painful. Additionally, it can have serious health consequences including risk for earlier-than-expected death and loss of physical function related to inactivity and lack of being meaningfully connected to others. Social isolation and loneliness have also been linked to health risks such as increased blood pressure, lowered immune system, and disrupted stress hormone levels. Conversely, research has proven that having social supports are critical to an older person’s good health and well-being. As we get older, our neighborhoods change, friends and family move away, and the way we experience relationships change. Often understated, the mere act of moving out of one’s home and into a retirement community has profoundly positive physical and emotional effects.
  • A home in need of restoration or ongoing maintenance can be a “money pit,” and as we grow older, we often rely more and more on others to maintain our home. This can drive up the cost of aging in place at home. If ignored, maintenance issues can devalue your home. A broken HVAC system or a new roof can put a large dent in a nest egg, and major expenses like these make it worth considering moving to a retirement community, where you can shake off these home ownership woes. At a retirement community, a full staff will take care of interior and exterior maintenance. And another bonus, residents don’t pay property taxes or property insurance.
  • Many people now believe that “sitting is the new smoking” and frequent sitters have a greater risk for developing cancer, heart disease, type 2 Diabetes, muscular issues, and depression. Those isolated at home naturally experience greater quantities of inactivity and boredom. If your TV has become your best companion, then maybe staying in your house is not the best option for you. Those who move to a retirement community tend to live active, happier lives –and live seven healthy years longer!
  • If you find yourself growing increasingly reluctant to get out and “fight the traffic,” or you’ve grown afraid of driving at night, then transportation could be considered another challenge created by staying in your home. Retirement communities offer group and individual transportation, so you can ride stress-free.

At Methodist Retirement Communities, we see the myth of “my home is the best place to age” proven wrong every day. You can live among friends and kiss home maintenance good-bye, which leaves you more time for interesting activities and a truly independent lifestyle. And replacing maintenance costs with a no-surprises monthly service fee allows you to accurately budget your nest egg for the long term.

There are endless advantages to moving to a retirement community. We challenge you to compare staying at home to moving to an MRC community. When you visit an MRC community near you, we’ll show you that there are amenities and advantages that your house cannot offer. Plus, you’ll find a home filled with love, purpose and laughter.

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