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The Costs of Aging in Place vs Moving into Senior Living

Senior woman at home looking at her smartphone

According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 75% of adults 45 and older want to remain in their homes as long as possible or “age in place” and around 90% of seniors plan on living in their homes for five to 10 years after turning 65. The term “aging in place” is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”

However, as health, mobility and safety needs change as we age, home modifications become a critical part of being able to remain in your current home. That’s why it’s important to look at aging in place costs compared to moving to a senior living community.

Costs of Living at Home

Throughout your life, your needs have changed, but, more than likely, your home hasn’t. Having a home that supports your new way of life is not only important for your safety but your enjoyment.

Bathroom modifications

The bathroom is a room that is a major fall hazard and the falls that happen here tend to be severe. Suggested modifications include:

  • Elevating the toilet seat to prevent your having to bend down too much and potentially losing your balance
  • Placing non-skid mats outside the shower and near the toilet
  • Purchasing a shower seat and inserting a hand-held showerhead
  • To reduce your chances of falling, a walk-in shower is preferable to a bathtub. However, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $12,000 for a basic walk-in shower. More elaborate showers with features like built-in seats, benches or multiple shower heads can cost more than $20,000.

Kitchen modifications

Because so much work happens in the kitchen, it’s important to make updates so it’s safer and easier to use. Modifying the kitchen for easier access can cost from $1,000 to $5,000 and can include:

  • Adding C or D shaped drawer handles
  • Placing countertops at different heights so you can work both sitting and standing
  • Elevating the sink to reduce bending over while washing dishes
  • Ensuring smoke alarms are working properly
  • Lowering shelves to make things easier to reach
  • Buying temperature-controlled cookware to reduce the chance of fire

General home modifications

Being able to safely navigate your home is important to your ability to do what you want. To help, you may want to consider making these changes:

  • Widening doorways and hallways to 36 inches to make moving room to room easy can cost from $300 to $1,000 per doorway.
  • Replacing round doorknobs with lever door handles, which can range from $3–$50 each.
  • Replacing toggle-style light switches with easier-to-use rocker-style light switches (preferably glow-in-the-dark light switches) which can range from $15 to $20 each.
  • Adding night lights in the bedroom (where 26% of all falls happen) and throughout the house, especially pathways, along with unlit spaces can cost from $100 to $500.
  • Discard throw rugs because they are a dangerous tripping hazard. Replacing carpet with non-slip flooring can cost from $1,000 to $3,000.
  • Installing ramps and grab bars to help with mobility can cost from $500 to $2,000.
  • To increase safety and peace of mind, installing a medical alert system can cost from $50 to $200/month.
  • For ease and convenience, you can install smart locks, lights, heating, air conditioning, appliances, etc. that work off an app or virtual assistant like Alexa or Siri. Installing smart home devices can cost anywhere from $100 to $500.

Cost of Senior Living

When you compare aging in place costs to the costs of senior living, there are multiple factors you should consider. Senior living communities, like Galleria Woods, are specifically designed for older adults so no home modifications are required. Plus, we offer thoughtful services and amenities to help you enjoy life your way.

Independent living at Galleria Woods requires a one-time entrance As a Life Plan Community with a Type A contract, you have guaranteed access to our continuum of care including assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, if ever needed, at predictable monthly rates.

Make Our Community Your Forever Home

You may be surprised to discover how much more you enjoy life when you let go of the burdens of homeownership. To find an option to fit your lifestyle and your budget, take our two-minute MoneyGauge assessment. See something you like? Schedule a visit using our Community Assistant chat feature or contacting us here.