Is It Time to Choose Housing Options for Mom and Dad?

Senior living presents a multitude of options nowadays; however, selecting the most suitable option isn’t always easy.  To start, you need to understand those choices that are available and present.  Some of the areas that you’ll need to consider when choosing the best option are the extent of care needed, the affordability of each option for the senior, and the proximity of the facility from family and friends, as well as shopping and health care professionals.  Here’s a brief summary of some of the available options:

Aging in place. Selecting this option, the senior will stay in their residence and supplement this with in-home nursing care or a housekeeping service.  This provides the mom or dad (or both) with a familiarity of their home and still maintain a degree of independence.  This option may also be more affordable than other options.  According to the Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Survey, the median rate is $20 per hour for home health care services.  Aging in place usually works best when the senior is relatively mobile, and family and friends are in close proximity to them.

Senior, age-restricted or adult retirement communities.  Usually at least one person has obtained a certain age, such as 55 or older, and is living in a residence which may be a home, apartment or condominium.  The communities may offer exercise facilities, pools, or additional amenities.  These communities don’t usually offer assistance with personal tasks or medical care.  Also, costs will typically increase as the number and quality of the amenities offered increases.

Independent living communities. These options are commonly referred to as “senior housing” or “retirement communities.”  These residences are typically on one level and may be an apartment, condo or home.  The communities will usually take care of the outdoor maintenance of the residence and some will offer services, such as providing meals and/or transportation.  Assistance with personal tasks is not usually offered as part of the community services.

Assisted living residences. The senior lives in their own residence and is also provided assistance with tasks such as bathing or dressing.  Some of these assisted living facilities may not provide full-time assistance or medical care.  According to Genworth, the median monthly cost for assisted living residences is $3,600.

Nursing homes or extended care facilities. This option provides the highest level of care and assistance with daily tasks, including medical care.  Usually, a nurse or medical professional is available at any time of the day or night.  Additional medical services, which might include physical therapy, may also be included as an option within the facility.  The median daily cost may range from $220 (semi-private room) to $250 (private room), according to Genworth.

Continuing care retirement communities. These campuses house multiple facilities ranging from independent living, to assisted living to extended care. Based on the seniors’ health and condition, they are able to move from one facility to another as deemed necessary, but they remain with the complex.  The costs for these communities vary, however, typically they will include an initial entrance fee and a recurring monthly fee.


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