How to Search for Independent Senior Housing
If you were affected by January’s record snowfall, you or a family member may be considering whether your current home is a good option for years to come. But there’s no roadmap of what the “right” thing to do is. Do you really need help with daily tasks? Will you be able to continue your current lifestyle in your new home? And how will it be paid for? With all of the options available and the emotions involved, deciding whether to move yourself or an older family member to a new home is incredibly challenging.
At Halpern Financial, we recommend having these important conversations well before a crisis occurs so that you have the time to weigh your options and find what is truly best for you. A severe medical issue may force your hand, but the decision to leave one’s home is never easy. It is even harder to decide when the need for professional home healthcare or home upkeep services is only occasional, or when one spouse needs more intensive care than the other. Independent living facilities can be a good compromise.
There are three major types of independent senior housing:
- Senior Villages: Senior villages are a growing trend for seniors who would like to age in their own homes and have the ability to do so with occasional help. Each senior village is different because they are grassroots volunteer organizations, but in most cases, seniors pay annual dues for access to volunteers who help seniors in the village network with driving, odd jobs, gardening and errands. Volunteers also act as liaisons to professional services.
- 55+ Communities: This is generally the most independent option when it comes to senior-specific housing, and involves buying a home or condo as opposed to renting. Grounds maintenance and a schedule of social activities may be provided but cooking and cleaning is done by the homeowner.
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities/ Senior Living Communities/ Congregate Care: These terms all describe a style of independent living facility that offer the most amenities for residents, including any combination of landscaping, housekeeping, transportation, dining plans and social activities. They may be associated with a facility that provides assisted living, dementia care and skilled nursing, allowing residents to increase the level of care when needed without leaving their home.
Once you decide which type of housing is right for you or your family member, we recommend doing some on-site visits to narrow down the options in your area. The AARP has a great guide you can use to compare them.
We have three resources to help you navigate the financial and lifestyle questions that accompany aging. Please take some time to look them over and feel free to share with family members or friends!
Prepare for the Needs of Aging Loved Ones
photo used under public domain
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