What Is Senior Housing?
Senior housing is a form of living for elderly people who require special assistance or desire a community of individuals in the same age range. It’s an amazing option for elders of all types, and each type of senior housing is unique depending on taste or need.
Types of Senior Housing
People make decisions every day. Some choices seem basic, such as what to eat and whether to turn left or right at the next light. Others branch out into more complex ones like what to spend your hard earned money on or where to live. As you age, these decisions are just as important, if not more important. And sometimes these complex decisions become even more difficult than before.
When it comes to picking out the perfect senior housing center for you or your loved one, it’s key to understand the types of housing that are available to you ranging from full assisted living to a more independent style of a community. Although it can seem a little overwhelming, understanding the different types will help narrow down your future choices and can ensure that your choice is the most perfect fit possible!
There’s such a variety types of housing for elders, each unique in their own individual way. The ones listed below are just the most generalized versions of each type of housing that you’ll find. Once you’ve chosen the type of environment to live in, it’s easier to find a housing situation in a category that caters to more specific types of living preferences. These more individualized categories include Alzheimer’s specific care, part time assistance or care, LGBTQ+ friendly centers, and so many more. It’s all just a matter of preference. Enough chit-chat, let’s jump right into it!
Age-Restricted Communities or Senior Cohousing
This group of senior housing is easily the most common. They’re often gated communities that are 55+. It’s a good option for elders who are still independent, but prefer to live around others their age. Neighbors are close range and there are a variety of optional social events that bring the community together. It is good to note that there may be a few children that live here as the requirement to be an age restricted community is that 80% of residents are 55 or older. When looking for housing in a community such as this, many factors are based on preference. It’s just like living into any other home, but the target market is age-based. It’s the best fit for seniors who are looking to settle into a more calm environment and are able to take care of themselves without concerns.
Senior apartments are the next step down from living in an age
restricted community. Some equate living in this environment to that of staying
in a hotel. Many senior apartment complexes offer amenities that make living as
an elder a bit easier and more enjoyable. Many offer dining and housekeeping as
well as social events to keep residents active. Senior apartments are also
marketed to those 55 and older, and who are still wishing to live independently
with a few additional amenities.
Assisted living is for elders who require close care. This can be elders who may not be safe residing alone and require close attention and care that a family member can’t offer. Assisted Living arrangements offer patients medical and physical aid, nutrition services, security environments, as well as extra social activities.
In this environment, there’s less worry for families about elders who need attentive care and ensures that the living arrangement provides enough social activities to participate in and keeps residents happy and healthy. This type of housing is targeted for elders who need 24 hour services with medical or physical conditions that need the most attention.
Nursing homes are a extremely similar to the idea of assisted living environments.
Most of the amenities are the same including dining, medical assistance, and offered social events. However, there are a few small differences between the two.
Nursing homes are often arranged in a way that each resident has a “roommate” or another senior that lives with them. Alongside that, nursing home arrangements offer around-the-clock care, but not as closely as in assisted living situations.
These are fit for elders with medical issues that need to be monitored, and if a situation arises, require the need of an experienced medical professional. Nursing homes are a better option than assisted living
when an elder is not independent but is safe to live by themselves with minimal required medical assistance from time to time.
In home care is kind of like a baby step towards assisted living or living in a nursing home. It’s a good option for those wishing to prolong the need to reside in an environment with 24-hour care. It’s the same treatment,
just at home and for a few hours every day or when needed.
This is the best option for an independent elder who wants to stay in their home for as long as possible. In-home care offers advanced medical care at home, companionship, and even transportation. In-home care maintains independence while still making
sure life is manageable and that patients have the health and aid that their lifestyle demands.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)
A CCRC environment is best for those looking for a long-term option.
This type of senior housing allows for elders to move through “levels” of care as they live here.
This just means that as time progresses, the patient needs more close care, that is available to them within the same living
situation. It’s inclusive of the amenities offered through assisted living and nursing home care. This is good for elders who want to stay within the same community for an extended period of time and not have to worry about
transferring or needing more care in years to come.
Services Offered in Senior Housing
Most of the services offered in senior living arrangements are social events to bring the residents together. These include classes for various crafts, dances, activities. Bingo nights, yoga classes, painting groups, and more! Each housing is different, but they’re all small communities meant to bring residents together.
When to Move into Senior Housing
The subject of moving into a senior home can be a touchy subject, but it shouldn’t be seen as a negative. There isn’t necessarily a “right time” to move into a senior housing development, but the topic should be discussed as you or your loved one ages. The type of home and the length of time to stay in the home should be discussed to ensure the choice made is the right one. If you or your loved one is becoming dependent, or simply needs a more accessible environment, then moving into a development would be a wonderful option! Everyone involved should be comfortable with the situation, and the process should be exciting and thought through well. Don’t rush moving in, take the time to talk about it and the rest will fall into place.
How to Apply for Senior Housing?
Applying for senior housing can seem like a difficult task, but in all honesty, workers at senior housing facilities will be more than happy to help! After researching and choosing a couple places that have peaked your interest, call or stop by to talk to administration. Normally there are applications to fill out, or an online process. For low income families, there are also a variety of assistance plans as well as voucher forms to apply for. Although the task may seem overbearing, there are many people willing to help and overall it just takes time and patience.
What Is the Cost of Senior Housing?
Senior housing can be expensive, but it’s easiest
to look at it as if you were renting an apartment or home. The average price
range is from $1,000 up to $6,000 a month. Pricing varies depending on
location, amenities, and income as well. As aforementioned, there is government
assistance available for those who need it. Depending on the type of housing
chosen, the price will rise or fall. However, any way you flip it, the benefits
for the price are significantly worth it. Finding a home that fits a budget and
has all the amenities needed shouldn’t be a problem.
FAQ about Senior Housing
- How to Find Affordable Senior Housing?
Affordable senior housing is more available than most might think. A lot of senior housing can seem expensive, but when broken down, pricing makes more sense. Taking into consideration that most amenities are provided in-home such as food services, medicine distribution as well as laundry services, and other basic household factors. The price of senior living isn’t just for rent, but it also includes meal plans, events, medical attention, and so much more in a balanced, affordable budget price. Also, for those who do struggle with income, there are a variety of applications and programs for government assistance.
- How to Sign up for Senior Housing?
Signing up for senior housing is fairly simple. After contacting the facility you’re interested in, you’re often put on a waiting list and complete the application process. There are many resources and administration member for every housing type that are more than willing to help you to make the process as easy and stress free as possible.
As aforementioned, these are just the most basic of the options that are available for seniors. Once the ideal living situation is found, offered amenities and more individualized preferences
can be brought into consideration. By now, you have a good knowledge of the different types of senior housing that are available and what attributes they have to offer for an affordable price! Hopefully this makes your search a little easier, and your preferences clear. This is a great first step in the decision making process.