Senior Housing: Making The Best Decision

by Jennifer Grey, HousingForSeniors.com Columnist | August 23, 2012 | Comments

When it comes to living arrangements, senior citizens have lots of options to choose from. Some seniors live independently at home while others move into assisted living facilities. Furthermore, some seniors hire caregivers to help them so they can continue to live at home. The living situation of a senior citizen depends upon how much help he or she needs with everyday tasks. Also, a senior citizen’s health influences his or her housing situation. The following takes a look at housing options for senior citizens. Also, there is information for families who are helping an elderly family member to make the best choice of housing.

Housing Options for Senior Citizens

Assisted living is a popular housing option for seniors. Generally, an assisted living facility is made up of a collection of apartments for seniors. Seniors in an assisted living facility have 24 hour access to the medical professionals working there. Many seniors appreciate the activities and social interaction with contemporaries who live there. An assisted living facility can give a senior citizen, as well as his or her family, tremendous peace of mind.

Another housing option for senior citizens is to stay in their own homes with the help of caregivers. Some seniors hire caregivers and others have the help of family members. A senior citizen may hire a caregiver to cook, clean, run errands, and help them with medications. Others hire caregivers to provide them with 24 hour care at home. Having a caregiver is an ideal option for a senior citizen who prefers to live in his or her own home.

Issues for Families Regarding Senior Housing

Many families assist elderly family members with decisions regarding housing. For instance, if a senior has trouble remembering when to take medication or needs assistance with personal care, family members must help him or her to find a practical solution. Alternatively, some families have to make decisions on behalf of elderly family members who are ill or not able to think clearly. Families who are making decisions on behalf of an elderly relative must consider the person’s financial situation and the level of care that he or she needs.

Assisted Living Issues

There are several factors to consider when evaluating an assisted living facility. For example, family members visiting a facility should ask about the costs as well as whether the apartments are private. Also, it’s important to find out whether the assisted living facility is able to handle residents who may need more medical care. Family members should also inquire about the licensing of an assisted living facility as well as the qualifications of the staff. There are several helpful checklists in the resources below that family members can print and take along on a visit to an assisted living facility.

Caring for an Elderly Relative in Your Home

Some families move their elderly relatives into their homes to care for them. It’s important for them to prepare the surroundings for an older person. For instance, putting a shower seat and grab bars in the bathroom are two practical ideas. These are items that can help a senior to avoid a fall. Also, a family who has an elderly relative living with them may set the person up in a room on the main floor of the home so he or she won’t have to climb stairs. Careful preparation can help an elderly relative to stay safe and content in a family’s home.

Talking with a Senior Citizen about Other Housing Options

In many families, it’s difficult to discuss a move with an elderly relative. Naturally, many seniors want to stay in the surroundings they are familiar with. Family members should respect the feelings of an elderly relative and listen to what he or she has to say. Sometimes if a senior is reluctant to make a necessary move, it’s helpful to ask a close friend or perhaps a minister to speak to the person. Most importantly, senior citizens should never be made to feel like they have no say in what happens to them.

About the Author

By
Jennifer is a freelance writer based in New York City. She has worked as a GED teacher for an adult education nonprofit for several years, teaching students ranging in age from sixteen to sixty-eight. Today, she writes and researches on numerous topics-including adult education, senior living, and travel.