The Best Housing Options for Seniors

Let’s face it- life can be stressful. You need to make sure your bills are paid, you and your loved ones are healthy, your car works, and many more things. Another stressful situation that many people may not realize is transitioning into becoming a senior citizen. You may be thinking, “Well since my loved ones are retired that means they can live carefree, right”? And although you’re partially right, there’s much more to it to make you or your loved ones’ senior years as enjoyable as they possibly can be. One of the most stressful things you will eventually encounter either for you or a family member is senior living. With the numerous options available for senior living, how do you know what to choose? What’s all involved in transitioning into the senior living process? We’re here to help take all of those worries away from you. In this article, we’ll talk about all you need to know about the senior living process. First, we’ll discuss when you may need to consider senior housing options. Then, we’ll help give you a list of factors you’ll want to keep in mind while looking for a senior housing option. Finally, we’ll offer you our top choices for the best housing options for seniors out there.

When Should You Consider Transitioning to Specialized Senior Housing?

Knowing when you may need to consider transitioning to specialized senior housing is a difficult process and decision to make. To make matters more confusing, everyone is different and will enter senior living facilities at a different time. You may transition to assisted senior living at a different time in your life than a family member, for example. How do you know when you need to start this process? The following list will offer you some situations where it may be more helpful to be in an assisted living situation.

When Daily Care Is Needed

One of the first signs that you or a loved one may need to transition into an aided senior living facility is when one requires help with daily care that they may not have needed six months or even a year ago. This can be with many tasks, including doing laundry, cooking and eating meals, taking care of any pets, and even getting the mail. Not cooking a meal and resorting to purchasing take out every once in a while isn’t something to be overly concerned about. However, if you notice your loved one purchasing takeout every day because they don’t have the strength to cook and clean up after eating, then it may be time to start looking at assisted senior living facilities that will help take the worry out of accomplishing daily tasks. 

When Immobility Becomes a Daily Occurrence

Immobility is something that everyone will encounter at some point or another in their lifetime. This can be due to injury reducing the ability to take full advantage of one’s body, a genetic disability inherited at birth, or most commonly getting older. If you notice your loved one starting to fall more frequently or if they have problems moving and getting around, it may be worth transitioning into a senior living facility where housing is specially built for those who have mobility problems. This type of housing often includes ramps instead of stairs, railing for people to hang onto in the hallways, and walk-in showers for ease of use. Additionally, these facilities are often staffed with people who help senior citizens move around and accomplish these daily tasks. We recognize that it may be difficult admitting one needs help with these tasks. However, it is more beneficial in the long run receiving help without suffering further injuries than trying to do everything by oneself and posing a risk for injury while doing that. 

When Memory Functions Seem Lowered

We’ve all been there before- forgetting to take out the trash, grab the mail, or pay a bill because time has gotten the best of us. This shouldn’t be too concerning because everyone makes mistakes from time to time. However, if you notice that a loved one has bills piling up, has full medication bottles at the end of a month when there should be none, or always has a full trash bin, then it may be time to start looking for assisted senior living. Memory loss is common as people get older, and assisted living facilities understand that. Senior housing is meant specifically to help your loved ones do all of these things, and more.

When Loneliness Becomes Expressive

One of the top signs that you may need to start investigating other living opportunities for your loved ones is if they become expressive that they are lonely. While it may be important to maintain some daily independence, if your loved ones verbally express that they are lonely on a regular basis, they may benefit from living in a senior living facility. This way, they can receive all the help they need and be surrounded by care, support, and other seniors that they can make friends with. As much as you may want to take in your loved one, providing full-time care for them can be arduous, especially with you trying to maintain your job and daily routine. This is where senior living facilities help. 

Our Top Tips for Choosing the Best Senior Housing for Your Loved Ones

Now that you and your loved ones have recognized they need help on a daily basis, it’s time to start looking for senior housing options. But how do you start? We recognize that this can be a confusing and difficult process, because you want the best options for your loved ones. This is why we’ve created this list of top factors you should consider while looking for assisted living facilities.

  1. Consider a monthly budget for your loved ones. Finances can be a sticky subject for many people. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Making a list of monthly expenses your loved ones have will make it easier to create and stick to a budget. Some assisted living facilities may even offer help with managing finances. Regardless, having a set spending limit every month can help save money and help loved ones avoid running into tough financial tribulations. 
  2. Make note of all medical conditions. Making a list of all medical concerns and conditions your loved ones have will help immensely when looking for a senior living facility. Some senior living facilities are better equipped to help those with certain medical conditions, and you may even be able to find a specially-aided facility if need be. What’s even more important, though, is that the housing you look at is accommodating towards your loved ones’ needs. The last thing you need as a stressor is to move to a facility where your loved ones’ medical needs can’t be handled properly. Don’t be afraid to do your research and ask questions to facilities you’re considering- they’re there to help!
  3. Look at locations closer to family members. Family is everything, especially when you’re helping your loved ones move away from home into an assisted living facility where they may have never been to before. This is why it may be beneficial for you and your loved ones to consider a senior living facility at a location that’s closer to home. This can allow you to visit more often without being worried about distance- and it can provide the loved ones living in the facility the peace of mind knowing you’re a short distance away from them. 
  4. Create a moving plan. Once you’ve decided you’re going to help a loved one move into senior housing, it’s beneficial to start the moving plan early on so move-in day can go as smooth as possible. Create a list of things that your loved ones are going to bring, a list of things your loved ones can’t bring, and a list of 50/50 items- items that they could bring but could live without as well. Don’t be afraid to start small too- spend even 30 minutes a day discussing moving plans or packing. It can also be beneficial for other family members to assist with this planning and packing too.
  5. Identify top choices and request tours of them. Once you know everything you’re looking for in an assisted facility and you’ve done your research, make a list of your top choices. Request tours or more information about these top choices, and try to find out as much information about them as you can. There’s no shame in asking questions!
  6. Make a final decision with your loved ones. Once you’ve interviewed, applied for places, and toured locations you and your loved ones like, it’s time to make a final decision. Once you make your decision, you can put your moving plan into place so everything is effortless and stress-free.

Best Housing Options for Seniors

Now that you know a little more about senior living and when it may be time to move into a senior living facility, let’s take a look at some of the best housing options available for seniors. There are many different types that will benefit different senior living situations.

Assisted Living Communities

Assisted living communities usually consist of apartment-style housing complexes in which many different care services are offered. It is a style of housing perfect for seniors who want to have some independence while being helped when need be. Seniors are usually assigned a case worker or another individual who helps them manage services and inquire what their daily needs are so they can receive the help they need without being assisted too much. Assisted living communities can be on the more expensive side, however. 

Residential Care Homes

Residential Care Homes are smaller facilities that offer more personalized living services to the seniors that live there.  These types of homes are often larger houses that have multiple bedrooms and a central living room, kitchen, and other recreational spaces. Residential care homes are ideal for those who want to be able to interact with other people their age and receive personalized, daily care. These types of senior living facilities cost more than aging in place styles but can cost less than a traditional skilled nursing facility. 

Independent Living

Independent Living housing options require seniors to move to a different location. However, these locations are more of an apartment style or college campus style, where everyone gets their own room or small place to live. Daily services like cooking, cleaning, and laundry are offered. There are also many opportunities for socialization within independent living communities. Independent living facilities can be more on the expensive side, depending on the location and amenities that the facility includes. This style is perfect for those who want to live by themselves but still have assistance with daily tasks. 

Skilled Nursing Facilities

Skilled Nursing Facilities are perfect for those who need around-the-clock care. This can include medications, bathing, meals, transportation, and other things. Usually, seniors transitioning to this type of housing have memory care needs or other serious medical needs that require daily assistance. There is usually almost always a nurse or another licensed medical professional at the facility assisting with medical care and medication. Costs for skilled nursing facilities are relatively high, but can vary. 

Aging in Place

Aging in place housing doesn’t actually require seniors to move anywhere- they can stay right at home! With this housing design, in-home caregivers or external caregivers offer assistance to your loved ones with their everyday tasks, such as bathing, cooking, cleaning, and other things. They can even help modify an existing home to be a safer place for your loved ones so they aren’t at risk for injury. Aging in place housing tends to cost less than more involved senior living facilities, because everything happens at a senior’s home instead of an external facility. 

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Continuing care retirement communities are perfect for individuals or couples who want to start enjoying independence but be able to transition to a fully assisted living facility if need be. These types of communities come equipped with many different care packages, including independent living sections, partially-assisted living sections, and fully-assisted living sections. The transition to assisted living is seamless, and seniors decide when they are in need of more or less assistance. This housing option is the most expensive out of all housing options.

The Village Concept

The Village concept is perfect for seniors that wish to stay in their homes and enjoy a retirement style of living. Local businesses and community members coordinate assistance for seniors taking part in village concept living, and can help with anything from transportation, getting groceries, yard work, and other things. This style of senior living can also be cheaper than living in another facility. Usually, members pay a monthly fee in return for services offered to them. This style of senior living is also beneficial for those who wish to stay ingrained in their community. 

Conclusion

We understand that it can be a confusing and difficult transition when moving your loved one into an assisted care facility. However, this process doesn’t have to be confusing or difficult! We hope that with our top tips and best senior housing options, your transitioning process is made as simple as possible. 

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