The need for senior care homes is expected to increase at an accelerated rate as the population of the United States continues to age. Baby boomers, who make up 26% of the population, have been retiring at the rate of 10,000 per day since 2011. This pace will continue until 2030 when the last of the baby boomers will have reached the age of 65, according to the Pew Research Center.
In 2014, seniors (65 and above) make up 13% of the population. By 2030 the senior population will increase by 38% to make up 18% of the population. That means the number of Americans over the age of 65 will double by 2030. The US is turning grey.
The economic downturn of 2007 has caused the loss of many people’s pensions and other retirement funds which has, in turn, limited their retirement options.
Which means while many more Americans are retiring, many are feeling a financial pinch to retire the way their parents did. Habits of thrift and economy are more essential now than ever before.
In addition to senior care homes, there are other options that are just as viable and may even be better for you. Many seniors’ first choice is to stay at home. You like where you live, thank you, and you’re comfortable with your neighbors. You need only minor assistance with your daily activities.
There are several things you need to consider to be sure this is the best option for you.
• Your home’s location. Are you in a suburban area that is close to shopping and your medical appointments? Is public transportation close by and easily accessible for you?
If you live in the country and need to drive a lot to and from town, it
could be a problem. A senior care home may be worth considering.
• Will your home be easily modified if it becomes necessary in the future? Are there many steps? How easy is it to maintain your yard?
• What kind of support is available to you? Do you have family and friends nearby who are willing and able to meet your needs? How long will they be able to help you?
• Are you able to keep interacting with other people? You need social interaction. No one looks forward to being alone for extended periods of time.
• How is your health – today? No one has a guarantee for the future but is your health reasonably good right now? What provisions can you make to prepare for changes in your health?
• You can save a lot of money by staying in your own home instead of going into a senior care home. You can also receive some of the benefits of a senior care home by taking advantage of in-home services that are available in your area.
The choices available to you are numerous. Yes, that also has the effect of making things a bit more complicated, but don’t panic. You can do this! Just remember to plan as far ahead as possible. Sometimes that’s not possible. If that’s case, you can still access family or friends to help you while you figure out what direction you wish to go.
Remember to take just one step at a time. Don’t try to do everything at once. No one can do that. With careful planning, you can make these years the best years of your life! Go for it!