Aging in Place vs. Assisted Living: How to Decide

Senior couple sits on a bench outside of their beautiful brick assisted-living building.

Aging in place is an increasingly common desire for many seniors. In fact, according to a survey by AARP about aging in place vs. assisted living, 77% of seniors hope to stay in their homes for the rest of their lives. 

Group of happy seniors sits with their hands in the air at their nursing home.

Who can blame people for wanting to live in the home where they made memories, built a family, and lived their life? However, as romanticized as aging in place may seem, it is not always possible.

There may come a point where the costs of living at home outweigh the benefits. Depending on the situation of the senior and their family members, assisted living can often be an excellent solution for long-term care. 

Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of aging in place, when to look for assisted-living communities, and the best way to give your loved one the care they need and deserve.

Pros and Cons of Aging in Place


Familiar setting: Chances are that after living in the same neighborhood for years or even decades, seniors will have a community of friends around them. If they know the area well and have friends living on the same street, aging in place will enable seniors to maintain friendships. 

Comfort and freedom: People who live in a home gradually customize and upgrade it to their liking. If your loved one has grown attached to their home, its familiarity, and its amenities, aging in place lets them hold onto that space. In addition, aging in place will give them more freedom than living in an assisted-living community. However, that freedom may be good or bad, depending on your loved one’s situation. 

Cost-effective: It’s no secret that assisted living is expensive. On average, a year in an assisted-living facility costs more than $40,000. Even more shocking is that a private room in a nursing home costs more than $90,000 per year. Although long-term care and health insurance can help offset the high cost of assisted living, the price tag is still nothing at which to scoff. Most times, aging in place is a more cost-effective option. 


Less comprehensive care: When a senior ages at home, they live without the assurance of medical professionals right outside their door and staff who are eager to help them with their daily routine. Whether or not your loved one needs full-time care from an assisted-living community depends on the situation. If a senior can live independently with little to no assistance, then aging in place may make sense. If they need someone with them every hour of the day, it’s time to make the move. 

 Senior woman in wheelchair smiles at lady who is helping her around.

Safety concerns: Similar to the care seniors forgo by aging in place, they also don’t have the same access to assistance in the case of a fall or other emergency. However, you can supplement the lack of caretakers thanks to recent advances in senior care technology. To learn more about senior care technology, click here. 

Home maintenance: If a senior is not physically able to take care of themselves as well as they should be, their living space will also suffer. Being unable to vacuum, wash dishes, clean the bathroom, or tidy up can cause health and safety risks. Unless a senior has the means to outsource all of their day-to-day housekeeping tasks, an assisted-living community may be a good idea. 

When to Choose Aging in Place vs. Assisted Living

Choosing whether or not your loved one moves into an assisted-living community is a delicate topic, so you want to be sure that you are making the decision that is best for your senior. 

One way to know that it is time for an assisted-living community is if your loved one becomes a danger to themselves. Seniors often wander out of the house and into unsafe situations. Whether they become lost at night with no idea where their home is or wander into an unpopulated area and fall, being a danger to themselves is a sign of needing assisted living. 

Another determining factor between aging in place vs. assisted living is if their home care needs become too expensive. Although assisted-living communities are not cheap, home care can amount to more than assisted living in some situations. If your senior needs advanced care at all times, it might be time for assisted living. 

Finally, it may be time to look into assisted living if you feel overwhelmed and chronically stressed because of your caregiving duties. When stress levels are too high for an extended period of time, they can have serious negative effects on your health. If you cannot healthily balance caring for your loved one with work or your family, assisted living might be a good option. 

Getting Your Loved Ones the Care They Need

As you watch your loved ones grow older, it can be hard to provide the care they need. At HandsFree Health, we know the daily challenges that family caregivers like yourself face. To help mitigate your stress and improve the quality of life for your aging loved ones, we created a suite of senior care technology. 

Whether your senior can still age in place or needs to live in an assisted-living community, our technology can help your seniors live happier, healthier, and safer lives. In addition to our senior care technology, our expert team has put together a free eBook for family caregivers. 

“Caring for an Aging Parent 101” is full of tips on the five aspects of caring for an aging parent, resources to make the caregiver role easier, and sage advice on navigating your emotional well-being during the process. 

If you want to learn more about giving your loved ones the care they need and deserve, click here to download your free copy. 

Share this post