Aging in Place vs. Aging in a Community

Older adults often wrestle with the decision of whether they should “age in place” in their home or instead move to a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), which offers all the independence of their house with the peace of mind of maintenance-free living and future care needs.

If you’re weighing this decision, you’re not alone. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that all members of the Baby Boom generation, estimated to be 73 million people, will be at least 65 years old by 2030. This demographic shift means that an increasing number of people are facing this important choice.

You have likely also heard of a Life-Plan Community, another name for a CCRC. These senior living communities are designed to provide a continuum of care, offering various levels of assistance as residents’ needs change over time. They aim to balance the autonomy seniors cherish with the security and support that become more necessary with age.

The Benefits of Aging in Place

Aging in place refers to living in your own home and community as you grow older. This option is appealing for many reasons:

Familiarity and Comfort
Remaining in a familiar environment can be comforting and less stressful. Seniors can continue to enjoy their established routines, relationships and surroundings.

Staying at home allows seniors to maintain a sense of control over their lives and daily activities.

Depending on the level of care needed, staying at home can sometimes be less expensive than moving to a CCRC, especially if significant home modifications or in-home care services are not required.

The Challenges of Aging in Place

However, aging in place also comes with challenges:

Home Maintenance
Managing household chores, repairs and upkeep can become increasingly difficult and stressful.

Healthcare Needs
As health needs evolve, it may become necessary to hire in-home caregivers, which can be costly and difficult to coordinate.

Seniors aging in place may face social isolation, especially if they have limited mobility or if their family and friends are not nearby.

Aging in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

A CCRC, or Life Plan Community, offers a different approach, providing a range of living arrangements and care options, from independent living to skilled nursing care. The benefits include:

Maintenance-Free Living
As opposed to staying in your current home, where you are responsible for dealing with repairs (and the yardwork) and the costs involved, moving to a CCRC rids you of the hassle of maintaining your home. It’s much easier to get your to-dos done when those to-dos aren’t tasks around the house. CCRCs handle home maintenance, housekeeping and landscaping, freeing up time and reducing stress for residents.

Not having to tackle other chores involved with being tied down to your home frees up more time to spend with friends and family. It also gives you the space to pursue your interests, whether that includes sports, art classes, or the many other activities CCRCs offer – and all of it on campus.

At Ginger Cove, residents live life according to their own plan, starting the day taking a swim at our aquatics center, and later sitting in on an art lecture or getting some practice in on the putting green.

Residents here also have the freedom to pick from one of the five floor plans we offer for our spacious one- and two-bedroom private apartments.

Comprehensive Care
Life-Plan Communities offer a continuum of care, which is seamless care and additional support tailored to whatever stage of life you are in. Think of it as the independence you want with additional support if you need it, later.

Ginger Cove’s staff is ready to provide in-home care for residents, giving them extra help with activities of daily living like getting ready for the day and taking medications. With our private assisted living apartments, we provide 24-hour nursing staff support, housekeeping, wellness, and many other programs.

There’s also skilled nursing care for those who need it at The Harbor at Ginger Cove, our on-site health center offering residents their own private bedroom, bathroom, and many amenities.

The Heritage at Ginger Cove, we provide memory care that boosts residents’ sense of humor and joy.

All those lifestyles are experienced on our 33-acre waterfront campus, just minutes from Annapolis’ beautiful Historic District.

Social Engagement

When you move to a CCRC, you become part of a community with social activities and shared experiences. These communities offer a variety of social, educational and recreational activities, fostering a sense of community and reducing the risk of isolation.

There are 350 seniors here at Ginger Cove, for example. They meet up at our Chesapeake Dining Room with its view of the neighboring creek, or they can grab a quick salad and sandwich in the casual Skipjack Dining Room. They also get together for a morning cappuccino at our coffee bar or meet for drinks at night in the Bugeye Bar.

Amenities and Services To Promote an Engaging Lifestyle

CCRCs offer a comprehensive list of amenities to match your active lifestyle. Those resort-like experiences are available right outside your front door.

At Ginger Cove, we nourish your mind, body and spirit with our full array of amenities and activities. Seniors here play croquet in our courts, or they drop a crabbing line off our pier (it is Maryland, after all). But the possibilities don’t end there.

Our wellness center allows you to stay healthy with our group fitness classes, cardio and weight room, and there’s our new indoor aquatics center with a four-lane lap pool, Jacuzzi and saunas. You can also pamper yourself in our spa and salon.

We offer not just options to keep you physically fit, but also support for your intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual, vocational and environmental health.

Predictable Costs

As you age in place, you are still on the hook for taxes on your home, and you may still be paying off your mortgage. There’s also the unpredictability of not knowing what the next house repair entails and how much it costs. And then there are healthcare costs.

While moving to a Life Plan Community is a financial commitment, many CCRCs offer contracts that include long-term care services, providing financial predictability for future healthcare needs.

With a CCRC, you pay a set monthly fee covering every amenity. At Ginger Cove, this fee covers one daily meal, the TV and internet bill, 24-hour on-site security, flat laundry service, and home maintenance, among other offerings. All real estate taxes and utilities are included in your fee, with the exception of your private phone line.

And at a Life-Care community like Ginger Cove, your predictable monthly payment also covers any future care needs, so you gain peace of mind by not having to worry about future care costs. Part of your monthly fee and your entry fee also qualify as medical expenses, which are tax deductible.

When Should You Join a Life Plan Community?

It’s also important to act sooner rather than later: CCRCs usually require a health screening prior to entry. The decision of living at home with at-home support or moving to an assisted living community may be made for you.

If your care needs surpass what an independent living community can offer, you might find yourself having to choose between living at home with at-home support or moving to an assisted living community.

Making the Decision

The choice between aging in place and moving to a CCRC is deeply personal and depends on individual circumstances, preferences and resources. Key factors to consider include your current and anticipated health needs, financial situation, desire for independence, and social preferences.

Consulting with family members, healthcare providers, and financial advisors can provide valuable perspectives and help you make an informed decision that best supports your well-being and quality of life.

Learn About Retirement at Ginger Cove

Discover the enriching lifestyle of a Life-Care Community at Ginger Cove. Experience firsthand the exceptional amenities, vibrant community life, and comprehensive care options available to our residents.

If you want to see what life at Ginger Cove is like, reach out to us today at 410-670-7793 to arrange a personal tour. Our friendly staff will be happy to show you around, answer your questions, and demonstrate how Ginger Cove can provide a fulfilling and active retirement.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the beautiful grounds, meet current residents, and learn about the various programs and services that make Ginger Cove a premier choice for retirement living.


Focus on Health: 7 Foods To Avoid After 60

Retirement Finances: Understanding Independent Living Costs