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What Are Your Housing Options As A Senior? Written by: Harry Cline

As we grow older, it is important to start thinking about what our homes may look like in the years to come. After all, few people can claim to already live in a perfectly senior-friendly house as they approach retirement age. When senior care comes into play, this becomes even more complex. But what are the options? Do you have to move to an assisted living facility? How feasible is it to age in place safely? In this article, we will go through the four most common housing options for seniors who may need care and assistance as they grow older. Each has its pros and cons, and every person will be suited to something different, so it is important to do your research. Buying A Senior-Accessible Home Many seniors downgrade to a more senior-friendly home when they get older, a decision that can vastly improve their standard of living. By ensuring seniors can move around safely and comfortably, this option minimizes the risks of injury and thus the chances of seniors needing long-term care in the first place. A good thing to know is that people over 60 can absolutely get a 30-year mortgage, thanks to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Financing a home as a senior doesn’t have to be more stressful than at any other stage in life. The main challenges are likely to be finding the right home and then downsizing your possessions to fit your more streamlined life. Modifying A Home If you are very attached to your current home, it is possible to modify it to become more senior-friendly. This is easier to do if your home just needs a few small tweaks, like grab bars in the bathroom or easier door handles. Things like step-free access, non-slip floors, and wider doorways can be harder (and more expensive) to implement. That said, the average cost for age-in-place modifications is under $10,000, making it one of the more economical options. The AARP has an excellent guide to home modifications that clearly outlines how every room in the house can be made safer and more comfortable. Using this document as a reference, determine how much work your home needs. Assisted Living Research has shown seniors tend to prefer assisted living to other forms of care. While independent living is preferred by those who are capable of it, seniors who need extra support benefit from the sense of community and fun that is included in many assisted living facilities. Finding the right facility doesn’t have to be hard. A Place For Mom notes there are numerous facilities right here in Baltimore, with prices ranging from $1,500 to $7,825 per month. While each facility offers different amenities, most provide daily hot meals and activities and excursions, and some even include on-site beautician services. Once you have identified a few options, look up reviews, get recommendations, and then tour them in person. Make sure to ask the important questions before making your choice, like finding out staff-to-resident ratio, whether private rooms are available, if doctors or on-call nurses and so on. Moving In With Family Finally, there is the option of moving in with a family member. This guarantees that you keep loved ones near you, and it’s also the cheapest option of them all, and the most obvious one if your budget is very tight. However, multigenerational living can be stressful, and not just for the “hosts” - two separate studies have shown that seniors tend to be less happy when living with children. Both sides need to understand the expectations around everyday care and support as well as smaller things like family life. None of these options is the “right” one. Some people are happiest living in an assisted living facility, while others will prefer to simply modify their home to suit their needs. When making your decision, consider other factors beyond cost: quality of living, relationships with the wider community, and access to trusted and reliable care should all come into the picture.


A big thanks to Harry Cline for his contribution to AnthemServicesLLC Blog if you would like to reach him his email is info@newcaregiver.org and his website is http://newcaregiver.org/

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