There is a time in life when you need a big house to accommodate your family. Now that your children are grown and you’ve retired you may not need as much space. You’re probably thinking about how and where you want to live long term.
There are many different options, from senior living retirement communities to assisted living facilities (ALFs). There are a lot of choices so it can be difficult to decide which is right for you.
We explain 8 of the most common options to help sort out the confusion.
- Aging in Place
Aging in place is an option where you stay in your own home. If you’re still relatively healthy you may not want to give up your independence. Plus, if your mortgage is paid off, it may make more sense financially.
In-home caregivers provide cleaning, meal delivery, and other activities to assist you with activities of daily living. You might also have a healthcare professional visit periodically to monitor chronic medical conditions.
Cost: Low to medium depending on the cost of living and the number of services you require.
- Age-Restricted or Independent Senior Living Communities
If you need little to no assistance, a senior independent living community offers the best of all worlds. The communities offer different living arrangements, including single-family homes, condos, townhomes, or apartments.
They also offer a variety of activities and services to fit almost every interest, as well as some dining services.
Cost: Medium to high depending on the housing prices, location, and amenities. You can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 per month.
- Continuing-Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)
CCRCs offer independent senior living apartments, along with ALFs and/or nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities. This service is designed to cater to your needs throughout the latter part of your life.
If you are not interested in owning a property anymore, a CCRC may be a good option for you. It’s easy to transition from independent living to the ALF or nursing home if you should require extra care in the future.
Cost: High. This is the most expensive of all long-term care options. You will also have to pay an “entrance fee” along with monthly fees that may go up over time.
- Assisted Living Facility (ALF)
Assisted living facilities offer a higher level of care than you can get living on your own. Services include “assistance” with activities of daily life such as cleaning, bathing, laundry, and meals.
Residents live either in private apartments or semi-private apartments that have separate bedrooms/bathrooms and a shared living room and kitchen.
Most properties have onsite dining rooms, hair salons, and pools, as well as group activities from movie nights to dancing lessons and concerts. They also offer transportation to local attractions, malls, and doctor appointments.
You must still have a fairly high degree of independence if you wish to live in an ALF. They do have nursing staff on the premises, but actual medical assistance is fairly limited. Some ALFs do offer graduated care, so if you require more assistance in the future, you can move to a different part of the facility.
Cost: You will pay for the extra level of care. The costs vary depending on the location, amenities, and type of living space. You’ll pay more for a private apartment versus sharing one. If you need more daily help, you generally have to pay separately for those services.
- Nursing Home or Skilled Nursing Facility
A nursing home or skilled nursing facility is a step above an ALF. They offer a higher degree of medical care, along with meal service, housekeeping, and laundry service. You will also benefit from 24-hour supervision from a licensed physician and a nurse, as well as medication management.
If you or your partner require 24-hour care, a nursing home may be the right option. It can also be an option for someone whose mental capacity has diminished to the point where they can no longer care for themselves.
High: The costs vary depending on the daily help you need and the type of living space, whether private or shared.
- Residential Care Home
Perhaps you still want to live independently, but you also don’t want to live entirely alone? Residential care is a type of living where you reside in a single-family house with other seniors. You have your own room but share common spaces with your housemates.
They also provide meal service and assistance with activities of daily living. If you don’t live near family and you want to build a small community of support, this is a way to do it.
Cost: Medium. This can be a more affordable option than an ALF.
- Memory Care Facility
Memory care is designed specifically for people with Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia. You can often find them in nursing homes or certain types of ALFs. They have a higher ratio of staff to residents and are intended to prevent residents from wandering off.
Some memory care facilities offer long-term care while others will take care of people during the day and then the residents go home at night. It’s a good option for spouses or adult children of seniors who need someone to look after a spouse/parent while they’re at work.
Cost: High. Again you pay for the higher level of supervision and care.
- Respite Care
Sometimes you only need care for a short time, such as after surgery or a serious illness. Caregivers may also need a break occasionally. Respite care facilities cater to those with short-term needs.
Residents can get assistance 24 hours a day to help them recover after an injury, illness, or surgery.
Make Long-Term Plans for Your Future
At this stage in life, you need to think about how you will live and take care of yourself. If you don’t plan to live with your children you may have to think about senior living options. This overview will give you a better idea about which one is right for you.
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Image Credits: Senior Lifestyle