You’re planning for retirement (or perhaps already retired). Maybe you or your spouse have health concerns. Maybe your first grandchild was just born. Do you worry about what life will be like on a fixed income? Are you single and ready for a new, outgoing lifestyle? Maybe home maintenance is just getting harder. No matter which juncture of life you find yourself in, one thing is clear: there are some important decisions ahead. Perhaps the most important: your choices for senior housing.
Senior housing choices can feel overwhelming. How do you know when it’s time to make a change, and how do you choose the right option? You have personal finances to consider, as well as health, safety, and family. There’s aging in place, renting, buying, and whole communities devoted to retirees and senior living. Where do you even start?
Answer: Right here!
We at SeniorResource.com have extensively researched senior housing options, simply so you don’t have to! Here, you can find answers to all your housing questions, including links to our numerous senior living directories so you can find the best home for your retirement lifestyle and needs!
Assisted living facilities are residences for older adults and seniors who live active lifestyles but may need medical and/or personal care help. Living space varies from apartments to individual rooms or units, with most common areas being shared. Though locations differ, standard services available at an assisted living facility include care coordination, medication administration and management, and assistance with housekeeping, personal care, and mobility. Many facilities offer additional amenities such as private dining areas and salon services. Assisted living care staff usually includes medical attendants, personal care assistants, food service staff, and certified nurse assistants.
Cohousing is a private community where residents live in close proximity to one another and share communal spaces. Also known as “intentional neighborhoods,” this type of living provides seniors with a tight-knit community of like-minded families and individuals, with whom they can socialize and share duties. Cohousing usually features a common house for activities like cooking and dining. Laundry might be a shared responsibility among residents, as well as gardening and maintenance. Safety, socialization, and support are the superior characteristics of such communities.
A prefabricated home is built off-site, in a factory, and then transported to its permanent location. The cost of constructing factory-built homes is far less than traditional, on-site building, causing the purchase or rental of such properties to be more economical for the consumer. 55+ mobile or modular home communities exist as a reasonably cheaper alternative to typical retirement communities. Many even offer amenities such as clubhouses or swimming pools for active lifestyles.
Senior apartments are constructed, maintained, and updated to be accommodating and practical for aging adults. Handrails and other safety hardware are common features, as well as handicap-accessible units and bathrooms equipped with shower chairs. Senior apartment rental is usually priced lower than traditional and is often age-restricted to the 55+ community. Some complexes offer more amenities than others, including transportation or laundry services. Groundskeeping and maintenance are performed by apartment staff.
Shared housing is when two or more people share a living space for mutual benefit. Housemates usually agree on terms involving split rent and/or help with home maintenance, though each arrangement is unique. Many shared housing programs aim to match seniors with younger housemates, who, in exchange for cost-free housing, can serve as a companion, help cook and clean, or even do grocery shopping and other errands.
A nursing home is a living option for seniors who need a higher level of care or medical attention than assisted living provides. Nursing homes are equipped with direct care nursing staff, available 24-7. Also employed are administrators and support staff, such as food workers, custodians, and social workers. Common nursing home amenities include beauty salons, common rooms, art classes, and laundry services, though every location is different.
A skilled nursing facility is a residential establishment for short-term medically necessary services, rehabilitation, or therapies, such as physical, occupational, or speech. Residents receive 24-hour care from skilled nursing professionals like RNs, LPNs, CNAs, and PTs. The skilled nursing staff is able to provide services such as (but not limited to) wound care, catheter care, or therapies, with the objective of residents eventually being discharged. Medicare may be a partial payment option for such stays.
It is important to note that “skilled nursing facilities” and “nursing homes” are not interchangeable. The greatest difference between the two is the duration of stay. Nursing homes are long-term, whereas skilled nursing facilities are short-term.
Retirement communities offer 55+ adults who are retired or partially retired the option to live independently amongst neighbors with similarly active and social lifestyles. Most retirement communities offer groundskeeping and maintenance services, as well as clubhouses, community activities, and excursions. Other amenities may include gated security, swimming pools, and fitness centers, though each community is different. Retirement communities offer an economic alternative to traditional housing, as residences are usually inexpensive, and a monthly fee may cover costs associated with amenities and maintenance.
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