Wondering what senior living options are available to you?
Essentially, senior living options equal senior care options. As we age, where you live is determined by how much care you require. This guide is designed to be a helpful friend in planning where you will reside as you age. Let's turn this necessary chore into an enjoyable plan for the best. Change can be good when you make the right decisions.
This guide outlines seven care options that seniors can explore when making decisions or just constructing a plan. With space travel becoming more and more common these days, of course, there are even more options to consider. However, for our purpose, we will stay down to earth and outside of our children or family's home as a dwelling option.
We are presenting this information for seniors with modest economic means or lower incomes. Senior care options can be expensive. However, it is good to think outside of the box when it comes to living options. We want to feel that we have choices and there's always room for excitement when new residence options are on the agenda.
We have listed the senior care options ,or senior living options, in order from most independent to least independent. Bear in mind there is always room to rebound. The goal is to live well despite the level of care you may require.
The level of care you may require now may change! Be optimistic, stay healthy and stay focused on the goal of a great quality of life at any stage!
Age Gracefully At Home
Being able to stay in the home you've lived in is a desirable option for many. There are various ways this can be done while maintaining any care requirement necessary. For example, adding a ramp for a wheelchair or a walker is an easy remedy if your mobility has been diminished.
Put On Your Gloves, Seems Like a Bathroom Remodel Is In Order!
This option of staying put is referred to as "aging in place". Other modifications that can make your home safer so you can stay home include installing:
- A stair lift - These can be installed to make getting up and down those pesky stairs a lot easier and much safer. As we age, the number of falls on stairs increases. Stair lifts can be placed indoors or outdoors.
- Grab bars - Preventing shower falls is smart and easy with these additions to your shower. They help you get in and out of the shower more efficiently too. Also, if a sudden slip occurs you have something to grab onto quickly.
- Shower bench - Enjoying your showers easier with this convenience. It helps to lessen fatigue and helps you rejuvenate much more as you shower.
- Lower threshold shower access- Climbing into the bathtub becomes dangerous as we age. A regular height bathtub is dangerous as we enter and exit the shower.
These home remodeling tips can give you a more beautiful home as well as a safer home as you age. With a little creativity, you can find a remodeling project or addition that makes living in your home for the rest of your life a viable option.
Aging in place can also be doable if you have services in place from outside sources. Meal delivery, activities of daily living assistance, home nursing services, or the addition of a medical alert system are bonuses that many are adding to their homes and lives.
Staying in your home may be a lower-cost option for senior living because many of the services you can receive at home are free. Take a look at all of the things that are offered to you on this Administration for Community Living (ACL) page.
The modifications to your home often increase the value of your home and are much less expensive than moving to another facility for care.
HUD Can Be a Great Helper When It Comes To Aging Well At Home
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD has a wealth of resources for seniors. You may qualify for home retention assistance or other programs which make staying home easier. Click here to learn about:
- Reverse mortgages for seniors
- Housing counseling
- Rural housing loans
- Finding affordable rents
- Rural renting help
- Public housing
- Housing discrimination
- Reverse mortgage scams
Housing Vouchers & Other Ways HUD Helps
Help Advisor gives us more information on another huge helper when it comes to staying at your home for the duration of your life.
The section 8 housing choice voucher program offers supplemental money for renting your home or your rental unit. There is also a segment of the program that may help you afford a modest house. Talk with your landlord about whether or not section 8 is something they are willing to accept for partial payment of rent.
A little known component of HUD is a program called section 202. Section 202 actually finances the building of low-income and assisted living environments. Section 202 is only available to low-income seniors who are 62 or older.
Can I Qualify For HUD-Sponsored Help?
Go to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development website to find out more about how they can help. HUD can help you maintain or acquire a new residence to stay in.
Best States To Live In For Low Income Individuals & Families
Rewardexpert.com has compiled a list of the best states to live in for people with lower incomes. Just because you're opting to age in place doesn't mean you have to limit where you do it. Remember, think outside of the box. Aging in place could be moving to your new place and then aging there. It all depends on where you are with your health when you begin to plan. Aging in place in a state that better accommodates your economic level will make life easier.
The staffers put their list together based in part on the income tax of that state, as well as the accessibility of assistance programs such as: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and other federal and state assistance programs. Rewardexpert.com staffers also looked at the cost of living in that state as well as the income levels of residents. The ability to qualify for health insurance and Medicaid as well as the accessibility. The following states ranked from number 1 to 10 for the best states for low-income individuals and families.
- Rhode Island
- New York
A Flight of Fancy, Living Abroad For Less Than $2000 Per Month
While we are looking at different states to age gracefully in, how about if we leave the states altogether? How do you like that for thinking outside of the box! CNBC has compiled a list of four tropical countries that you can live well in for less than $2000 a month! These countries are:
- Costa Rica
Is Staying In My Home A Viable Option For Me?
The point is to grab hold of the fact that this is your one and only life. Having a modest or low income does not mean that you have to limit your possibilities. There's only one way to find out if staying in your home is a viable option for you. INVESTIGATE! Find out what you're eligible for. EXPLORE!
That's also the focus of the professionals at EASY Wireless - increasing the possibilities of their customers. A cell phone and Internet company, EASY Wireless has programs available to help you receive free cell phones and free Internet service. With these services, you can really talk about having no limit on your possibilities.
Call a friend or family member without breaking the bank.
Call your boss and tell them you're moving to somewhere sunny! You will find more information about how EASY Wireless can increase your ability to communicate and connect before the conclusion of the guide.
It Takes A Village
Technically, the old African adage goes "It takes a village to raise a child". Well, as of late, the saying has been updated to include seniors: "it takes a village to care for a senior citizen"! This is nothing new in most communities. Everyone sort of looks out for the seniors in the area, anyway. If a wayward elderly person is seen doing something weird, people in the neighborhood are certain to inform a loved one.
This village idea of senior living looks like this: you still get to live in your home, you just have added support from neighbors and local businesses. According to dailycaring.com the "village" program, helping seniors stay in their home is achieved by providing house maintenance, transportation, accounting help or other services that otherwise able-bodied seniors may need.
There is generally a very small fee of a few hundred dollars per year for inclusion in a "village".
Mr. & Mrs. or Ms. Independent Living
People who want to live in an independent living setting are generally living in a retirement community. These independent options are also called:
- senior housing
- senior apartments
- or retirement homes
The major benefit of independent living at a senior facility is that you no longer have to think about household maintenance. Meals are generally provided, so you don't have to cook anymore if you don't want to. Some independent living facilities offer housekeeping services as well, so that's another chore to cross off your list.
Another great advantage of living together in a retirement community or senior apartment situation is that the opportunity for socialization is at 100. You are around people with similar interests and experiences because they are of a similar age. As you age, many people experience loneliness and isolation. As loved ones move and friends may move or pass away, you tend to feel more alone. Living in a senior setting helps decrease loneliness and isolation greatly.
Finding the independent senior living that you want is a daunting task but there are many resources to help you. Click on this link for the Eldercare Locator to find out more about independent living options and the cost. The cost range is wide and there are options for assistance available.
Is It Time For A Residential Care Home?
Depending upon your required level of care, a residential care home may be an option. This level of senior care living and/or senior living option is commonly referred to as:
- Board and care homes
- Personal care homes
- Adult family homes
In a residential care home, you can receive more specific medical and activities of daily living care. These facilities are for individuals who are less active and may require more personalized looking after.
This option is a little more costly than some other senior living facilities. However, it is all contingent on the benefits that you have and the benefits that you may qualify for. The social worker will help you to be able to determine which facility is best for your care and your budget.
More than likely, you may be entering some of the facilities discussed after a hospitalization or a serious medical diagnosis. As a result, a social worker will be involved in your care planning. However, knowing what your options are ahead of time will make the transition easier.
The Best Care Of All Three Worlds - A Continuing Care Retirement Community
A Continuing Care Retirement Community is a great idea for individuals who want to know where they will be for the rest of their lives. These individuals have opted out of staying at home and want to be in a place that will change with their increased age and needs.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities include:
- Independent living
- Assisted living
- Skilled nursing facility
Most people want to live independently as a goal. Being part of a Continuing Care Retirement Community lets you have that flexibility. If you have just had major surgery, you might need the care of a skilled nursing facility. As you recuperate from the surgery, you can move on to assisted living. As you are completely healed from the surgery, you can again live independently. Continuing Care Retirement Communities or CCRC's give you this option. You never have to leave the CCRC.
This option is expensive and the cost fluctuates depending upon the level of care required. However, it gives you the peace of mind to know where you're going to be for the duration of your life.
It's An Assisted Living Community, Not A Lifestyle Take Over!
Living in an Assisted Living Community is a blessing for many. These seniors need help with the activities of daily living. The great thing is, you can still be very independent if you choose to be. Getting help with things is empowering. If you understand you need the assistance, you can benefit from it.
Assisted living communities offer services such as:
- Medication management
There is 24-hour a day staff available to help and assist with these services and more. Socialization is not neglected and there are opportunities for recreation and group dining in most assisted living communities. As humans, we are unique and individual. Everyone's idea of independence varies. Ideally, you will find a comfort level at any senior care option or senior living option that you choose.
For Maximum Care Explore A Skilled Nursing Facility or a Nursing Home
The highest level of care is for those who require 24-hour professional attention. These individuals may have either physical or mental ailments that require around the clock care. A medical doctor is in charge of each patient's care and there is 24-hour access to nursing and emergency medical care or mental health treatment.
Within this level of care there are also variations. Getting seniors back to their own comfort level of independence is always the goal.
The cost of a nursing home is very expensive. However, there are nursing homes that care for low-income individuals as well.
Are You Packing Your Bags Or Settling In For The Long Haul?
The key take away from this guide is to live at your very best. No matter what level of care you require, it's important to enjoy every day to the fullest. EASY Wireless is just one way you can do just that. They offer a program for low-income individuals to acquire free cell phone service and free internet.
Finding out if you qualify is as simple as clicking this link. EASY Wireless works with those individuals who qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program or ACP, a government entity through the Federal Communications Commission. As you are exploring all of the senior care and senior living options, having free cell phone service to help is a boost.
Living out your golden years in comfort and anticipation for a new day is ideal. Making sure that you receive every benefit you deserve goes a long way. Having beautiful and affordable surroundings does much for your appreciation of life. Have fun planning for the best life possible.
For More Helpful Tips
For more helpful and useful tips check out our comprehensive guide titled, Senior Citizens - Guide for Living Your Best Life.