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About Caring For A Senior is committed to making in-home care accessible to all care seekers. We do this by providing informative articles and resources that can help you understand the options available to you in a time of need. And once you're ready to seek care assistance, we offer a directory of nearby care providers.

How to Decide on Senior Housing Options

An elderly individual receives home care


Aging at home, senior independent living, senior assisted living, and nursing home care are some of the options available for senior housing. These senior housing options cater to the many needs that change as you age. Many seniors choose aging at home, or aging in place, where they can continue to live in their homes and receive in home care when caregiving is needed. Others choose senior independent living where they live in retirement communities and receive minor assistance with daily living. And others choose senior assisted living when they need more personal care. Nursing home care is chosen if extensive medical care and personal care is needed.

Aging at home (or aging in place):

Aging at home provides an advantage of being in a familiar place and a sense of independence. Compared to senior independent living, senior assisted living, and nursing home care, aging at home is generally the most economical option for senior housing.  Most of the senior’s needs are met with in home care services. In home care provides a wide range of services such as assistance with activities of daily living and specialized medical care. Aging at home accommodates flexible amount of care so seniors pay only for the care they need. Some may only need a few hours of in home care a week while some may need care 24 hours a day. Aging at home is a good choice for those who want to stay in the comfort of their own home and enjoy independence.

Senior independent living: 

Generally, senior independent living is any type of housing that caters to seniors. These could be but not limited to retirement communities, senior apartments, and condominiums. Usually senior independent living communities have a minimum age requirement (such as age 55 and older) and housing is friendlier to seniors. Depending on each community, the range of services will vary. Seniors can hire in home care if they need additional care. Senior independent living is beneficial to those who prefer to socialize with others close to their own age, do not want a lot of home maintenance and upkeep, and need minor assistance with everyday living.

Senior assisted living:

Typically, senior assisted living is a housing option with more supportive services compared to senior independent living. Usual services include 24-hour supervision, medication administration, personal care, and meals. Some senior assisted living facilities specialize in memory loss and dementia care.

Nursing home care:

Nursing home care may be a good choice for those who need extensive medical and personal care,. In addition to providing full assistance with daily living, nursing home care provides a high level of medical care with supervision under a licensed physician.

Continuing-care retirement community:

Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) are campus-style communities that combine senior independent living, senior assisted living, and nursing home care usually in one location. Seniors can continue to live in the same area as their needs change. Generally, there is an endowment fee and a monthly fee for services and care. The monthly fee will change accordingly with the level of care. This type of housing may be a good choice for spouses who require different levels of care but wish to live close to one another.

With so many options to decide from, it is important to carefully assess your needs. When making your decision, ask yourself these three important questions.

What are my physical needs and what physical needs could I face in the future?
As you get older, mobility may become difficult and you may need assistance in daily activities such as cleaning, cooking, grooming, and eating. Your medical needs may change. If you decide to live in your home, you may need to modify it for easier accessibility.

What are my social needs and what social needs could I face in the future?
Having an accessible social network is important to stay emotionally healthy. Consider the location of where you are. Are you able to visit friends and family? Do you have access to shopping and medical facilities?

What are my financial needs and what financial needs could I face in the future?
When deciding on the care you need, it is important to carefully plan and evaluate your budget.  Your budget may be a crucial factor in your decision-making.

With many different choices, it may be helpful to consider a professional assessment. If you would like help and more information deciding on your needs click here for our free service.