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Senior Living Arrangements: When Living Alone is No Longer an Option

By HERWriter
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Caregiving related image Photo: Getty Images

Decisions that involve changing a senior's living arrangements are weighty. And the variety of options you may find have a positive and a negative aspect.

It's good to know that there are choices that can be made. It can also be distressing or confusing to be confronted with many choices. Getting familiar with all the options is the best antidote.

Retirement Communities are a good fit for healthy seniors who are self-sufficient.This type of arrangement includes meals and housekeeping. Some communities offer recreational activities like golf and tennis. Transportation is often included.

These communities usually require private payment options but it is possible to find some communities that are within the reach of seniors who have lower incomes.

Assisted Living is a self-explanatory designation for living arrangements offering seniors a mixture of help and independence to fit their individual needs. A senior, or couple, can live in their own apartment yet still have access to full-time staff if they need it, as well as assistance for housekeeping and meals. Medical treatment is available on the premises.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities can expand the services offered according to seniors' changing needs. A senior moves in while still self-sufficient, needing very little assistance or supervision.

If the senior eventually needs more in-depth care, the community will transfer him or her from their apartment to a nursing home affiliated with the community. A lifetime commitment makes this type of community unique.

Nursing Homes provide full-time care, handling meals and housekeeping, appropriate types of recreation and medical treatment. These facilities are licensed by the state. They are certified by Medicaid and Medicare, following precise standards, and subject to inspections to assure that they meet the standard.

Medicaid can make this type of living arrangement reachable for seniors with low incomes.

Low Income Housing is available in many forms. Low income seniors may be able to choose from independent living arrangements, to housing that also provides full-time care and treatment. Recreational activities and opportunities to socialize with other residents are part of the package.

There are many options to choose from, depending on the senior's personal needs and abilities. Check the newspapers for housing options in your local area and of course, use the internet for your search. Consider checking out any open house offerings so that you can look around and get a feel of a residence.

Do your research, check out the residences, and be sensitive to the reactions of the senior in question. It is, after all, his or her life that will change the most. You should be able to arrive at a new living arrangement that is appropriate for all concerned.

Add a Comment3 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Many seniors nowadays prefer to live independently in their own homes. My mother is one of these people. We came up with a great solution and purchased a medical alert for seniors. She loves it and I do too.

December 22, 2011 - 1:58pm

The availability of respite services is very helpful to assist the children of elderly in caring for their parents. However, not all seniors would want to stay in such communities. They would rather stay in the comfort of their own home even though they know that they would live all by themselves. And this preference is possible now, too, as these elderly can get the services of caregivers or other forms of assistance that can make their day to day living a lot easier. Another option is getting technological devices that are designed to assist them. Some of these devices are cited here: http://www.just5.com/story.php?story=310720112059561916173394&page=blog.

August 1, 2011 - 7:38pm
EmpowHER Guest

Illinois has a great program called Supportive Living that benefits adults 65 and older of all incomes who need some help to maintain their independence but do not need skilled nursing care. The program is especially designed for those who cannot afford provate pay assisted living, including those on Medicaid. More than 120 Supportive Living communities are located throughout the State, providing older adults with a wonderful alternative to a nursing home or struggling alone at home. Residents live in a residential rather than institutional environment and receive the assistance with medications and activities of daily living they need. Meals, housekeeping and laundry are included.

January 6, 2011 - 3:20pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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