Balancing Life: The Challenges of Growing Old in the USA

Once you grow as an adult, age is not a number but a mindset. 

Getting to your golden years is not as bad nor good as it may seem. This mindset is affected by how we see ourselves or the people around us and how everyday life changes. 

There are no clear-cut definitions for a person being considered "old." We have different opinions when it comes to it. For example, someone might think he is old when they start experiencing hair loss, but it might not be a sign of aging for others.

Retirement Planning in the US 

Did you know that there are about 39 million people in the US who're over 65? In addition, the average life expectancy for Americans is 65 years old, which means an estimated 83% of Americans will live past their 65th birthday. 

By 2050, the US population will reach 390+ million, 5% of which are 65 years of age, which means 1 in 5 Americans will be an older adult, 2% of which will be 85 years old. This is somewhat the product of steep declining fertility rates in public health and medical science.

We will all reach this point in our lives. One of the best things about aging is reaping the fruits of your labor when you were younger. However, you need a solid retirement plan and savings. 

There will be a few obstacles that must be taken care of when we are getting old. But with a bit of planning and some sacrifices along the way, you can enjoy your golden years however you want it. Retirement has several meanings from different people's perspectives. This is where living arrangements come into play—independently living, assisted living, and nursing homes.

Retirement Homes - Independent Elderly

According to research, as people age, the more likely they'll feel younger and be more active. Studies show that 7/10 people age 65 and more enjoy their time more than when they were younger. 

Retirement homes are ideal for independent elders that wish to maintain their lifestyles while also experiencing on-site support and care.

Activities of daily living like lawn mowing and housekeeping can be a challenge for seniors. However, with the right facility or personnel to take care of these responsibilities, seniors can live their life to the fullest. 

Another thing worth noting is that these places promote socialization, which is essential for seniors to stay active and have fun.

Assisted Living Residences - Adult Residential Care

Assisted living residences are geared more towards older adults that require short-term support with activities of daily living (ADLs) or self-care. 

Adult residential care is most common for individuals who require constant supervision and support with their lifestyle activities. Hence, these services are helpful for seniors who need help with managing finances, taking medications on time, etc.

Assisted living can be one option for older people who would like to age in their own homes while still being monitored by caregivers trained in dementia detection and management. They don’t have to live in a place with an unfamiliar environment. Thus, they can carry on with their life as usual since assisted living residences are designed to resemble the feeling of being at home. 

Nursing Homes - Full-Time Care

Nursing homes offer full-time companionship and assistance to residents with dementia or Alzheimer's Disease. These facilities are staffed with nurses and trained caregivers 24/7, and residents may stay there until they leave on their terms or pass. These facilities offer a package of services with a base fee then additional charges based on the type of care and support.

Individuals should note that assisted living facilities are not the same as nursing homes. Instead, these institutions cater to those in need of prolonged medical attention, and their focus shifts from enabling independence to promoting healing.

Deciding which retirement community is best for you requires careful planning and a discussion with your loved ones or your financial advisor. Remember that age isn't the only factor in making this kind of decision; lifestyle needs, income, and location all play a role in choosing a suitable retirement facility.

It is essential to keep in mind that every person ages differently and will experience different challenges as they grow older. So, we have to be prepared for any challenge. 

Educate yourself and your loved ones on what to expect and what care should be given. 

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