Housing Options for Seniors – familydoctor.org

A senior housing community is a place where older adults live. There are many types of senior living communities. Each one offers different services. Services are based on residents’ lifestyle and healthcare needs.

Path to better health

People choose to move to senior living communities for different reasons. Some move because they feel lonely and want to be close to other older adults. Some older adults cannot take care of their home and need help with daily tasks. Others move because their family cannot provide a safe environment or adequate medical care. Below are some options for senior living.

Active Adult Communities

Active adult communities are neighborhoods created for older adults. They can be made up of houses or townhouses. Or they may include apartments, condominiums or mobile homes. In most communities, adults must be 55 or older to live there. The residents are totally independent. They have no problems living alone. They take care of themselves and manage their homes.

This option allows active and capable seniors to live alone but close to each other. Many of these communities offer a variety of social, recreational and educational activities.

Independent Living Communities

Independent living communities are known as retirement communities or nursing homes. Seniors can rent or buy their own units at one of these locations. Meals are usually included in nursing homes. Housekeeping, laundry and transportation services may also be available. Most residents can take care of themselves. They do not need help with daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing, or taking medications.

This option can be a good option for older adults who feel lonely living alone. Residents enjoy community life with others. They are quite active and independent, but enjoy services such as cleaning and prepared meals.

Assisted living residences

Assisted living residences are similar to independent living communities. However, they also offer personal care services to residents who need them. These may include bathing, dressing, or taking medications. Some residences include special units for people suffering from early or mid-stage illnesses. dementia.

This option could be a good option for older adults who are somewhat active but need help with daily tasks.

Nursing homes

Nursing homes are also known as skilled care or long-term care facilities. They provide medical services and care. Nursing homes are staffed with nurses and other health professionals 24 hours a day. Some seniors stay here temporarily. This could be to recover from a fall, a health problem, or surgery. Other adults may need to stay for an extended period.

This option is for people who need 24-hour medical and personal care. This type of care often cannot be provided at home or in another senior living facility. Medicare, along with Medicaid, cover most nursing home services, including short-term rehabilitation stays.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Continuing care retirement communities meet the needs of many older adults. They have a variety of residence halls on a large campus. Residents can choose independent living, assisted living or nursing home services. As their needs change over time, they may move to a residence that offers more assistance or medical care.

This option can work for many older adults. It allows them to benefit from services immediately while planning for their future. These communities allow seniors to live in one place for the rest of their lives. This is the most expensive of all senior housing options. Residents should be able to sign a contract and pay for services now for future use.

Things youor consider

Moving into a senior housing community can be difficult. It is normal for this transition to generate emotions in older adults and their families. You must include others in the decision. Talk to family and/or friends. Your doctor can help you weigh the pros and cons of senior living options. They can help you decide when and where to go. Some older adults may not be able to decide for health reasons. In this case, family members or other caregivers will have to make the best decision.

There are many things to consider when choosing a senior living community. It should fit your needs and finances. The following steps can help in this process.

  • Establish a realistic financial budget. Be sure to consider the finances of the family members who will be contributing.
  • Make a list of all your physical, medical and emotional needs. Decide which senior housing community meets these needs.
  • Find nursing homes in your area using the U.S. Administration for Community Living’s Senior Care Locator.
  • Schedule a tour with local residences. While you are there, use the Senior Housing Tour Checklist to help you evaluate residency.
  • Read the housing contract carefully. You may want to review it with a lawyer.
  • After completing this process, discuss all options with your family and inform them of your long-term care decisions. They may be able to help you choose the right residence for you.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • How do I know if I am ready, or if my parents are ready, for a senior living community?
  • What types of medical care or assistance do I need?
  • Do I need to be in a senior living community short or long term?

Resources

US Department of Health and Human Services, Senior Care Locator

Copyright © American Academy of Family Physicians

This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your primary care doctor to find out if this information applies to you and for more information on this topic.

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