Housing While Aging: Things to Consider When Choosing Your Next Home

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At some point in your life, you may be ready for a smaller home, less stress, and a simpler lifestyle. There may also come a time when you need additional help and support with the activities of daily living. There are a few options to consider when you come to the decision that you need extra care to live safely. This article highlights the differences between in-home care and moving to a long-term care community.

Here are some factors to consider when deciding which route you want to take.

In-home Care

In-home care is ideal for people who want to age in the comfort of their own homes while maintaining a level of independence. This option allows an aging or disabled person to continue their normal routines in familiar surroundings. In-home care works best for individuals who either need minimal supportive care or for people who can afford to hire personal care or private duty nursing aides to assist them when needed.

Private duty in-home care providers offer the following services as needed:

  • Companion care to help with activities of daily living such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, and transportation
  • Personal care such as bathing, feeding, and medication reminders
  • Advanced personal care for Alzheimer’s or Dementia care, hospice care, etc. that require specialized skills

Depending on the type of care needed and the period for which it is required, these services vary in cost. According to Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2018, the average cost for in-home care is around $15 per hour.

You can find this type of service near you by using websites like HomeCare.com, APlaceForMom.com, or Caring.com.

Long-term Care Community

Long-term care communities are a good option for individuals whose health conditions require a higher level of care. This type of community provides residents with around-the-clock access to healthcare professionals along with a room, meals, activities and other amenities. Long-term care communities are also physically arranged with residents’ safety in mind. That means the facilities are designed with items like no-slip floors, nightlights, and grab bars.

On average, the monthly cost of living in a long-term care community is $4,960, with some communities costing as low as $1,560 and others costing as high as $8,365, depending on the types of community, location, and room size. The price also varies state by state.

Long-term Care Community Types

Long-term care communities range from independent living communities for more active, independent seniors to skilled nursing facilities for seniors who require full-time care.

Long-Term Care Option Residents Amenities Cost per Month
Independent Living Community ·       Moderately active and independent

·       Desire to be in a community with similar interests

·       Room and board

·       Housekeeping and maintenance

·       Social activities

·       24-hour security

$1,500 to $4,000
Assisted Living Program ·       Require help with daily routines, but do not need 24-hour care ·       Room and board

·       Housekeeping and maintenance

·       Dining program

·       Medication management

·       24-hour security

$3,000 to $5,000
Continuing Care Retirement Communities ·       Prefer to stay in one place without having to move periodically

·       Resident can move through the levels of care as needs change

 

·       Variety of facilities, from assisted living to nursing homes, in one location

·       Amenities vary depending on the level of care, but typically include:

o   Room and board

o   Housekeeping and maintenance

o   Dining program

o   Medication management

o   24-hour security

$3,000 to $8,500
Nursing Homes ·       Require full-time care due to severe physical or mental illness

·       Require a physician’s order required for admission

·       Room and board

·       Personal care services

·       Housekeeping and maintenance

·       Dining program

·       Medication management

·       24-hour security

$6,500 to $8,500

Visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website to access their housing resources library for further research before deciding the right option for you. You can also visit Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and enter your zip code to learn about housing options available in your community.

If you’re weighing your housing options or have a loved one who is, talk about your possible choices with family, friends, and physicians before signing the dotted line. They may be able to help guide you throughout the process.

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