Exploring Your Senior Living Options as You Get Older

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Exploring Your Senior Living Options as You Get Older

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By Holly Klamer

What are Your Senior Housing Needs?

Perhaps you’re searching for nearby assisted living facilities for seniors due to some medical condition. Or maybe you are seeking a lifestyle change suited to your needs. Regardless, making the transition and picking the right place can be quite a challenging situation. It can be emotionally overwhelming and stressful for everyone involved.

However, the quicker you begin assessing your present needs and how they might evolve over the years, the more control you can exercise. With early action and proper planning, you will have more facilities to browse through.

But, since every adult is unique with different needs, you need to pick the right facility most suitable for them. For example, if they struggle with dementia, then look no further than one of the local memory care communities for seniors. The important thing is that the housing should meet the senior’s health, financial and lifestyle needs.

Preparing Yourself for A Housing Change

Moving to a senior housing facility often means loss of independence and giving-up control. You don’t get to make as many choices once you’re THERE! This can be a challenging prospect for the majority of adults, and understandably so! It can bring a sense of fear, anger, confusion, even embarrassment and shame.

But, what’s important is to remember that you are not alone going through this. Almost anyone aging more than 65 is bound to need some kind of long-term care plan. There’s no shame in acknowledging that you need help.

We all need help from others in all phases of life whether it’s with legal help, professional, at home, or even moral support. In fact, knowing when to ask for help is a sign of power.

Popular Senior Housing Options

Aging in Place

This is an advantageous option as you get to spend time with your family. The sense of community and neighborhood remains intact. By making the necessary home modifications and deploying home-care services, you can continue to live a safe and easy life.

Go for the aging in place option if:

  • There’s a strong network of reliable family members, friends and neighbors
  • There’s the ease of transportation as well as alternatives to driving
  • The neighborhood is safe and helpful
  • There’s enough room in house for modifications to meet your changing lifestyle needs
  • Maintaining the home is not an overwhelming task
  • You don’t need a ton of medical care or intense supervision
  • You live with the confines of a NORC or a village or other similar integrity community

Independent Living

A typical independent living community consists of tiny homes and apartments. The living situation is maintenance-free. As the name suggests, it’s designed to encourage active living and independence among seniors.

Residents are required to furnish the apartments. Common facilities include 24-hour security, fitness centers, community centers, concierge services, basic healthcare and a strong sense of community.

Generally, you cannot expect major healthcare support in independent living communities. However, you can get health services from outside resources. While some communities may offer free everyday check-ins; others may charge you extra for this.

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Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted senior living is the best option for those who need help with ADLs or activities of daily living. For example, if you need help with cooking, cleaning, maintaining basic hygiene, housekeeping, laundry and traveling for appointments, go for an assisted living facility.

There’s round-the-clock safety and security. You also get access to 24-hour care. The medical help is usually just a phone call away. A good living facility will create a custom plan to meet your health and disability needs while allowing you the freedom to make certain other important choices.

Go for one of the top-rated assisted living facilities in your area if:

  • You can benefit from more elaborate and personal care which is not possible at an independent living community or home.
  • You still don’t need intense medical supervision like at a nursing home but could use occasional healthcare and support.

Nursing Homes

If you need custodial care, then you must pick from the available nursing home options. Custodial care includes help with getting in and out of bed. It also entails help with bathing, dressing, and feeding. Compared to other senior living facilities, nursing homes (also called retirement homes) differ in that they offer a high level of support and medical care.

The facility is run by licensed physicians who look after each patient and their individual care. There’s almost always a medical professional available on the premises such as a nurse or an aide.

Enrolling in a nursing home makes sense if:

  • Your personal and medical needs are too big to be handled at some other facility. Perhaps you have some chronic illnesses or had a recent hospitalization that is worsening your condition. You may be in need of memory care services from facilities that specialize in dementia care. In that case, round-the-clock supervision at a nursing home will be best for you.
  • Perhaps you need a high level of care only temporarily. It could be due to some recent accident or hospitalization. You anticipate returning to your home soon after. For short but intense care, this is a great option.

As you can see, myriad factors go into deciding the best assisted living facilities for you or whether you require a more independent level of senior living. If you’re unclear, be sure to consult your physician. Also, talk things over with your family and friends to arrive at the right decision.

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