According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the average life expectancy of an American female in 2012 was over 81 years of age and for a male, it's over 76. Even if your parents are alive, well and stubborn, they might insist on living in their own home, even though the upkeep is becoming overwhelming. If you're researching a senior living community and your parents are adamant it's for "old people", here is some myth-busting information you can provide that just might change their mind:
Isn't "Senior Living" Just Another Way to Say "Retirement Home?"
The minute you bring up the idea of senior living, do you parents immediately cut you off because they assume you're referring to a nursing home? You can begin your rebuttal by telling them a nursing home, which provides 24-hour care, is for individuals who are unable to care for themselves due to advanced age.
Conversely, independent senior housing allows individuals to enjoy their life in a new way. For example, many senior living communities offer spa services, various social activities, beauty salons, restaurant services and a variety of other conveniences that will allow your parents to enjoy their independent life with new friends.
I Can't Afford That
Your parents are living comfortably in their home and are probably accustomed to paying the mortgage, taxes and light bill each month. In addition, even though it's becoming more difficult, your parents are still able to keep their lawn and home tidy.
Being frugal creatures of habit, your parents probably took one look around a senior living community and automatically assumed they couldn't afford all that! However, according to Business Insider, your parents might be overlooking a few of these extra and sometimes forgotten costs of owning a home:
Keep It Looking Good – From making sure the shutters aren't chipped to mowing the lawn and planting new annuals along the front walk, according to Business Insider, it can cost in excess of $4000 to maintain a home's exterior each year.
Everything is Running Smoothly – Once the outside is looking good, it's time to concentrate on the interior. For many homeowners, including your parents, this could include something as minor as a yearly HVAC inspection and tune-up to completely replacing the roof.
I Need to Pay HOA Fees, Too – In addition to paying the mortgage, taxes and all the other monthly expenses that come with home ownership, if your parents are members of a Home Owner's Association, HOA, chances are they must pay a monthly fee to them, as well.
I've Always Been Independent
Finally, one of the simplest concerns your parents might have is their loss of independence. They might worry that once they give up their home in favor of a senior living facility, they will suddenly transform from vibrant go-getters to infirm, elderly shut-ins.
In the midst of their explanation, don't hesitate to politely interrupt your parents while bringing up these statistics provided by Caring.com: The average individual over 65-years-old spent around three hours everyday doing "busy" work around the house, including cleaning, cooking and several other unpleasant activities. This only left the same individuals around 30 minutes each day to actually enjoy a conversation or lunch with friends.
Conversely, according to Caring.com, the average 65-year-old resident of a senior living facility spent only one hour on chores, freeing them up for an average of three hours to spend enjoying their friends and favorite activities each day!
If after all the facts your parents are still unconvinced, the easiest way to dispel this myth is to visit a nearby facility. Instead of finding a dank, dreary facility that wreaks of mildew, your parents will discover a well-kept community filled with vibrant seniors enjoying their favorite activities with their new friends!