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Decoding Housing Options for Seniors

Take the time the learn the senior housing lingo and decide if any of these scenarios sound right for you.

Many people erroneously believe senior housing is limited to nursing homes and assisted living complexes. In truth there are many variations of senior housing with options that can satisfy your needs at any stage of life. Take the time the learn the senior housing lingo and decide if any of these scenarios sound right for you.

Active Living Retirement Communities: Like other retirement communities an active living retirement complex offers its’ senior residents comradery and access to healthcare. The trademark of an active living center is the emphasis on amenities and activities. Active living retirement communities may offer access to swimming, golf, walking trails, and tennis courts to all residents. Apartments, condominiums, and single-story homes are all possible housing selections.

Aging-in-Place: Approximately 7.6 million seniors in the United States receive in-home health care. As healthcare costs and life expectancies rise many seniors are looking to save their money and their independence by staying at home. Aging-in-place is the term used to describe this growing phenomenon. With proper planning and some home modifications seniors are finding ways to safely spend their golden years in their family home. A Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist can help you decide if this is a feasible choice for you.

Assisted Living Residences: While many seniors have difficulty with some daily tasks that doesn’t mean they require the round-the-clock care that a nursing home would provide. In an assisted living residence you can expect help with everyday chores like cooking, cleaning, and dressing. The level of care as well as the cost of these facilities varies greatly. can help you research assisted living residences in your area.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities: A CCRC offers a variety of housing options and different levels of care based on the needs of its residents. Seniors typically join a CCRC when they are still mobile and self-sufficient. These residents would live in an apartment, townhome, or condo. As a resident ages and requires more assistance they are moved into more of an assisted living or nursing home setting. Residents of a CCRC sign lifelong contracts guaranteeing housing and healthcare services. The downside to a continuing care facility is the expense. Some CCRCs ask for tens of thousands of dollars to be paid as a deposit.

Foster Care for Seniors: Many states have a foster care-for-seniors program that helps match up willing families with seniors in need. The senior in question may require some extra daily assistance or simply feel safer in a family setting. The requirements for becoming a foster family vary from state-to-state. The Foundation for Senior Living can help seniors and potential foster families find one another.

Home-sharing: If you thought your days of living with a roommate ended in college, think again. In a typical home-sharing situation two or more seniors combine finances to live in a house of apartment together. Each person has their own bedroom, but common areas like the kitchen and living room are shared as are all the household chores. Sometimes an older homeowner will take on a younger roommate in exchange for help with daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, and landscaping.

Nursing Homes: This is possibly the most recognized housing option for seniors. A nursing home provides its residents with all their meals and medical care. A single nursing home may employ many different types of caregivers like nurses, therapists, nutritionist, and other qualified staff. Going beyond the medical needs of its residents a nursing home also provides emotional support through regular activities, holiday celebrations, and special events.

Senior Apartments: Many seniors say that they prefer to live around others their own age. When you combine that with maintenance-free apartment living you get a senior apartment complex. Federal housing guidelines allow senior apartment complexes to restrict residents based on age, usually 55 and above. Senior apartments tend to be more affordable than a standard apartment and are equipped with safety features for its disabled residents.

Senior Retirement Communities: A senior retirement community covers a wide range of housing possibilities from condominiums to apartments to cottages and more. Seniors living in a retirement community do not require daily assistance or medical care. These residents simply want to enjoy the housekeeping, fun activities, and maintenance-free living that a retirement community can provide. Residents pay a yearly fee to cover the cost of these activities and other amenities.