Question: I'm considering moving into a senior housing facility, but I have no idea how much they cost and what is included. What should I be asking as I begin my search for the best place for my needs?
Senior Housing Facilities - Answers to Questions about Choosing the Best Senior Housing Locations
Answer: Your best choice for a senior housing facility will mostly depend on your current lifestyle, what you can afford, and what meets your social, emotional, and physical requirements. There are over 100 million seniors in the United States, and special emphasis has been placed on senior housing for the past few decades, because of the overwhelming demand.
There are many essential steps that you need to follow when selecting senior housing facilities that suit your individual preferences, and allow you to spend your golden years with the best comfort and care.
The reality is that there are many different types of senior housing facilities. You need to first have an idea which kind you are interested in, and narrow your search based on compatibility and price.
Let us first discuss some of the most common senior housing facilities:
Senior Apartments - These housing units are for an older adult community. It could be the same as living in your own neighborhood, without the kids and loud music. Seniors, who live in these apartments, are still able to full look after and take care of themselves. They are living in complexes that are restricted to senior citizens.
The Housing and Urban Development - H.U.D. provides the lowest priced subsidized housing in the United States. Each state has a listing for the type of senior housing available, and what services are provided.
Senior Independent Living - Here you can find senior housing facilities that provide a variety of activities and services. Independent living facilities provide transportation for seniors. The also provide home cooked meals, and have scheduled social gatherings. The goal is to get seniors to interact with each other, and have ongoing activities to keep seniors active.
Assisted Living - Assisted living is a nice option for seniors, who like their privacy, but need occasional or regular assistance with getting dressed, taking medication, receiving meals and personal hygiene. Generally speaking, most seniors, who choose assisted living, have their own apartments or rooms within a complex or independent community.
Continuing Care Retirement Community - Also referred to as CCRC's, provide a complete set of services in one package. You are provided accommodation with meals, and assisted living, but you are still living in an independent environment. Full nursing is provided if needed, too.
Continuing care retirement communities are the most expensive options for choosing a senior housing facility. There is an initial fee to join, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. After you are a member, you still need to pay monthly fees that can be a few thousand dollars a month. Some of your initial investment can be reimbursed, depending if it was used towards developing the CCRC project.
Nursing Homes - These senior housing facilities help those with chronic illnesses, and help those, who can no longer take care of themselves. Seniors are provided 24-hour medical care, and there are regular activities for seniors, who are healthy enough to participate.
There are many nursing homes across the U.S. connected with Medicaid programs, which greatly reduce all costs.
Costs of a Senior Housing Facility
After you've decided which type of senior housing facility you might want to live in, you should look at and make comparisons of services and prices.
Although some general prices were listed above, prices vary a lot from each facility, as well as from city to state.
Here are a couple of places to start your search online:
Eldercare Locator - http://www.eldercare.gov/eldercare.net/Public/Index.aspx
Eldercare is provided by the U.S. Administration on Aging to help the elderly and their families locate services and facilities.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides low rent apartments for seniors across the country.
Questions You Should Ask about a Senior Housing Facility
By visiting the sites listed above, many of your questions should have already been answered. However, if you still have questions, why not contact a senior government agency nearest you for up-to-date information. Specify exactly what your needs are, and they will be able to provide you with brochures, and point you in the right direction.
Looking for a senior housing facility can be a lengthy process. However, don't try to rush through and accept the first thing you are offered. You could be spending many years in a facility, and you want to be as comfortable and happy as possible. So, take your time, discuss it with your family, and choose the best possible option.