main of Should I Consider a Change in My Housing Situation For My Senior Years?

Should I Consider a Change in My Housing Situation For My Senior Years?

As a person enters their golden years, their life undergoes a lot of changes. Retirement is typical and most people may find that their health isn’t quite what it used to be. Considering the needs of a senior are different than they used to, should their living conditions also change? There are a wide number of different senior living options that are available. Some of them will provide assistance to seniors with their medical issues. Others could provide assistance with day to day chores that have just become a hassle and take up too much time. Other senior housing options are essentially just a community designed for seniors allowing them a great deal of independence. No matter the needs, senior housing is available to meet them. Because of this, it begs the question, “Should I consider a change in my housing situation for my senior years?”

Answer: Assisted living provides far more comfort, but can be quite expensive. 

When you consider a senior living situation, most people think of nursing homes. They picture small cramped rooms full of unhappy and sick seniors who can’t move around and require constant attention. Nursing homes are only a small portion of the senior living opportunities and is certainly not nearly like how people picture it. Nursing homes are very specifically intended for people who will need a lot of daily assistance and personalized care, potentially around the clock.

Obviously, many seniors have the option to simply live in their home as they have been. Often this can become somewhat lonely as family moves away and spreads out. That’s why the village concept and independent living are just popular choices for senior living. The village concept actually offers very basic services like yard work and transportation completed by younger neighbors in the area who receive a nominal fee each year. It’s not a lot different from living on your own, but it just ensures there’s some help nearby if you need it. 

Independent living looks like a cluster of condos, apartments or townhomes close together. These don’t provide much in the way of medical assistance. Instead, they are socially linked and often have many of the chores that seniors don’t really want to do anymore taken care of. In some cases, it’ll be all exterior yard work. In some clusters, it’ll also include interior cleaning and even common food prep areas. Some almost work on the college dorm style, but obviously with much better amenities, rooms and utilities. 

Finally, there’s residential care homes, continued care retirement communities (CCRC) and assisted living communities. All of these feature some mix of medical and lifestyle assistance, with some providing more independence than others. For example, in a CCRC, you can start off in a very independent situation, and move throughout the complex or have increased services offered. Medical services and medication management is among the most important. Costs for these kinds of living situations can be very expensive. Enhanced health insurance plans earlier in life can provide for much of the the cost and make these more feasible options for many seniors. Arguably the best part about these living options is flexibility. You can usually tailor the amount of services, care, social activity and independence you need and crave.

Additional Resources

There’s obviously a lot to consider when you are choosing how you want to live as a senior. The good news is that it’s one subject which is certainly talked about a lot and there is a lot of information available online to assist in making the right decision. Some excellent resources to check out include: 

  1. AARP.com - The AARP is one of the go to locations for any retired person in the United States. They provide information on almost every subject as it pertains to seniors. This article is a question and answer article about the many factors to be considered with senior housing.  
  2. AssistedLiving.org - This website offers information specifically about the many factors of assisted living and does so for many seniors. The linked article focuses on housing and goes into more details on the kind of amenities and services that can be found in an assisted living situation. 
  3. aPlaceforMom.com - This website is dedicated to trying to help people with information about senior living, with a special emphasis on making choices for family members to assist them. The article in question talks about senior housing types, but the entire Senior Housing 101 section is excellent.

Questions to Consider