Assisted Living

Understanding Senior Housing: Which Option Is Right for You?

When you start your search for senior housing, you may be surprised with all of the options that are available nowadays.  These options range from aging in place at home to full-time care in a nursing home and many options in between.  Below are 7 senior living options to look into when considering your senior housing options.

Aging In Place

Aging in place is for seniors who don’t want to move, who are in good health, and are still independent.  They choose to live in their home that they are currently living in.  This is a great option because seniors get to stay in a place they are familiar with.

In order to age in place, simple home updates may be required to make the home a safer more comfortable place.  Some of these updates may include a shower chair, bathroom grab bars or a medical alert system.

Seniors who choose to age in place, don’t require a lot of help and can easily get help doing small tasks.  There are many resources for getting the minimal help that a senior needs when aging in place.  Some of the help they may need are: cleaning, in-home caregivers and meal delivery.

Independent Living

Independent living is a housing community that is specifically designed for seniors (mostly for seniors who are 55 and up).  These types of housing varies from single family homes, condos and apartments.  The homes are made to be senior friendly with little to no maintenance and the proper senior updates put in place.  These communities offer great amenities, services and activities.

This is a great option for seniors who don’t need a lot of help with everyday activities and chores.  Also, it is great for seniors who love to socialize with their peers.

It is important to note that independent living facilities do not offer medical care or a nursing staff on site.

The Village Concept

The Village Concept connects neighbors and local businesses to help one another.  Local businesses help seniors remain in their home as they get older and seniors help local business’s with giving them their business. This is great for seniors who want a similar feel of a retirement home without actually living in a retirement home.

Village Concepts do not provide services directly.  They act as a middle person to help seniors receive services. Most of the time the assistance comes from younger neighbors, youth groups and other village members.  There is a flat fee of about $500 to be part of a village concept programs.

Residential Care Home

A residential care home is a small facility that provides personalized services to small groups of seniors.  They are often times referred to as board and care homes, personalized care homes or adult family homes.  In these facilities, seniors are given a place to live, meals and help with daily living tasks.  This option is great for someone who wants a home-setting type of care, but needs more hands on care.

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

Continuing care retirement communities have three options all in the same location.  You can pick from independent living, assisted living and nursing home care.  This is a great option because as seniors age and their needs change, they can move from one part of the continuing care retirement community to another.

This is a great option for spouses who want to live close to one another, but require a different level of care.

Continuing care retirement communities are pricey.  They are actually the most expensive out of all the options listed. Normally there is an initial fee and  then there are monthly payments.  The monthly payment increases as your level of care increases.

Assisted Living Community

Assisted Living consists of small apartments in a community.  It is a good option for seniors who need help with certain daily tasks like cooking, keeping their house organized/clean, and driving to appointments.  This is a great option for adults who are pretty independent, but do require some assistance.

Typical services at an assisted living facility include:

  • Meals
  • Medication management
  • Bathing
  • Helping getting dressed
  • Housekeeping
  • Transportation

The cost to live in an assisted living facility is not cheap.  The cost depends on the level of daily help a senior requires.

Nursing Home

A nursing home is the highest and priciest level of care available for seniors.  It is for seniors who need 24-hour supervision and onsite medical care.  They need assistance with meals, their health and activities.  This is ideal for seniors who have debilitating physical and mental illnesses and cannot care for themselves.

Nursing homes have medical care on site 24 hours a day.  A licensed physician is on staff to supervise the medical care of all of the seniors at the nursing home.

When starting your search for a senior living facility, do not get overwhelmed by all of the options.  First evaluate what stage of senior living you are in.  Decide how much help you need.  Then think about what type of senior living facility your lifestyle, health and financial capability will match.  After you have answered those two questions, you can start researching the different facilities more in depth.  This will help you find the perfect senior living option for you.


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