Special Section: Senior Living Home

Many older adults move through various housing situations as their needs change.

It’s tough to see Mom and Dad moving into the stage of life where they need additional care. But just because they’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to “put them in a home.”

With these four different areas of housing options specifically for seniors, you’ll be helping Mom and Dad move into a home suited just for them.

Aging in Place

Many seniors are opting to live independently and age in place. Whether parents decide to downsize or stay in their current home, some minor changes can make their place safer. Add grab bars, put ramps over stairs and add smart technology, such as a medical alert that will get them help fast if they need it. You can also set up caregivers to come and check on Mom and Dad when you’re not there.

  • Who’s it for? Adults over the age of 55 wanting to remain independent.
  • What type of housing? A small house or apartment.
  • Why move there? Mom and Dad don’t want to move into an assisted living or a retirement community.
  • Cost of living? Any rent/mortgage fees, city fees and property taxes.

Retirement Communities

Sometimes known as “55+ communities” or “retirement villages,” retirement communities are for active adults looking to maintain an independent lifestyle. With lots of amenities like gyms and golf courses, these communities are designed for active older adults looking to downsize.

  • Who’s it for? Active adults over the age of 55.
  • What type of housing? Apartments, condominiums and detached homes within the retirement community complex.
  • Why move there? Mom and Dad will enjoy the ease of downsizing while living in an active, like-minded community.
  • Cost of living? Expect to spend at least $1,500 a month. However, costs can easily jump to more than $3,000 depending on the community.

Assisted Living Facilities

Sometimes called “personal care homes,” assisted living facilities are for when Mom and Dad need extra help with daily tasks around the house. Within each community, there are differing levels of care offered, so Mom and Dad can easily customize a care routine to meet their needs.

  • Who’s it for? Adults over the age of 55 who need extra help with daily living activities or who need more active supervision.
  • What type of housing? Apartments and rooms within the assisted-living facility building.
  • Why move there? Extra peace of mind for everyone in the family knowing that care is always there for Mom and Dad.
  • Cost of living? Starts at $2,500 a month. Depending on the care needed, the costs per month will rise.

Nursing Homes

Alternatively called “long-term care,” nursing homes provide around-the-clock care to those who are no longer able to care for themselves. Nursing homes often have different wards dedicated to the level of care required, with most having a separate ward for dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease patients.

  • Who’s it for? Adults over the age of 55 who can no longer care for themselves.
  • What type of housing? Rooms within the nursing home ward or building.
  • Why move there? For around-the-clock care for Mom and Dad that you are not able to provide.
  • Cost of living? Close to $5,000 a month. Costs will range depending on the time of care needed.

Keeping Mom and Dad Safe

Your decision is not set in stone. Many older adults move housing situations several times as they age and as their needs change.

No matter what housing option Mom and Dad choose for their long-term happiness, select something that satisfies their requirements as well as yours. After all, they will be the ones living there. JN

Tracy Layden is a certified aging in place specialist. Born and raised in Silicon Valley, Layden leads the marketing efforts at Alert-1, a personal safety technology and consulting firm dedicated to helping seniors live safely and independently.