We are please to share this guest article by Hazel Bridges.
Five Senior Housing Options That Aren't a Nursing Home
When most people hear “senior living,” they think nursing homes. However, nursing homes are meant to serve people with serious medical needs, not those of us who just need a little help from day to day.
If your home is growing cumbersome but you don’t want to move to a nursing home, don’t worry. There are a lot of options for senior living that don’t involve a skilled nursing facility. These are the top senior living options for seniors who want to age in their community:
Aging in Place
For healthy seniors, living at home is usually the preferred option. Fortunately, some homes can be modified so they’re safe for aging in place. Installing an entrance ramp, remodeling the bathroom, and raising electrical outlets are among the renovations that improve home accessibility for seniors. However, remodeling can’t fix a home that’s too big, and some changes are too costly to be worthwhile. To give you an idea of average prices, the average cost of a kitchen remodel is $8,000 - $25,000 , for example.
If remodeling your current home isn’t feasible, consider selling and buying a barrier-free home . Seniors shopping for a new home should look in urban and suburban areas where medical services, public transportation, and community resources are nearby. They should also carefully review their finances to determine how much they can afford to spend on a new home.
Aging-in-place seniors with caregiving needs can hire in-home care. Full-time in-home care — about 44 hours a week — averages $125 a day, but seniors who only need part-time care can save money compared to assisted living costs.
Villages aren’t a senior living option so much as they are a support network for seniors aging in place. Designed to meet the needs of elder community members, the neighborhood-based membership organizations known as villages recruit neighbor-volunteers to help seniors with day-to-day needs like transportation, home maintenance, and socialization.
Assisted living is designed for seniors who need help with personal care. Unlike nursing homes, seniors in assisted living don’t require daily medical care, and the average age of those in these facilities is 87.
Seniors who choose local assisted living facilities can remain integrated with their community. In addition to location, look for a facility that provides for activities of daily living, offers socialization opportunities, and allows residents to have visitors. Of course, a facility also needs to fit your budget. Assisted living prices vary significantly; currently, it costs an average of $ 3,250 a month in Michigan.
Living alone is hard on seniors. Not only is an entire home a lot to manage by yourself, but seniors living alone are also vulnerable to isolation, which can increase their risk of health problems.
If you’re not ready to give up your home, put out an ad for a roommate. Whether strictly a roommate relationship or a live-in caregiver arrangement, having a roommate reduces isolation and gives seniors an extra set of hands around the house. Even if a senior doesn’t need help at home, getting a roommate is a great strategy for reducing housing costs.
If you like the idea of sharing resources — but not necessarily sharing space — a senior housing cooperative could be for you. Senior housing co-ops are similar to independent living communities, but instead of being owned by an outside company, senior co-ops are owned and managed by the residents.
Since senior co-ops are self-directed, prices and services offered vary widely. There also aren’t many senior co-ops currently in operation; however, the National Association of Housing Cooperatives offers guidance on starting a co-op of your own.
It’s common to equate senior living with a loss of independence, but the truth is, there are a lot of options for seniors who need a little help but don’t want to leave their community. Whether you need a safer home, help with personal care, or just some companionship to beat senior isolation, consider the senior living options above that best fit your needs.
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