Senior living properties are designed to be diverse to meet the needs of any senior and his or her family. Although many seniors need highly specialized medical care or help with daily tasks, some simply need activities and events to keep them connected or the opportunity to communicate with others on a daily basis. The first step in choosing the best home for oneself, one’s aging parents or an elderly friend is to understand the variety of senior living properties options available.
Here are 5 tips for finding the best senior living properties for your lifestyle:
1. Look at your income
The first consideration when assessing senior living properties is income. Those dealing with a lower income may find that they have difficulty affording traditional assisted living communities. For this situation, the federal government offers programs that provide discounted senior housing to those who fall within a certain age group and income level. One of the most common options in this sector is the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly. Another option is a tax credit called Low-Income Housing. In addition to these options, some states and county governments provide low cost apartments to seniors within certain income limitations.
2. Consider the type of senior care that’s needed
Some seniors may need a great deal of care with daily tasks or with basic to moderate medical needs. Assisted senior living properties are perfect for individuals who need help with some simple chores such as cooking a meal or two each day, doing laundry or house cleaning. In addition, those in assisted living communities typically have 24 hour access to a nurse, either by phone or in person. Usually a small amount of medical care is offered at assisted living facilities such as medication distribution and wound dressing changes. For medical care beyond the scope of these senior living properties, a skilled nursing center or mid-level nursing home may be the best choice since these places offer continual nursing care.
3. Look to the future
Those who suffer with chronic diseases that are progressive in nature may need a living situation that allows them to age while staying within the same community. These senior living properties are generally known as continuing care retirement facilities. These have living quarters for those who need very little daily help as well as for those who need some medical care or skilled medical services in the future.
4. Assess Independence
A fourth tip when assessing senior living properties is to determine the senior’s desired level of independence. Independent living communities are generally individually owned but are regulated by a management company. These senior living properties typically require monthly or annual fees that allow a person to make use of the facilities and other services that are offered. Not only are community and recreational services such as tennis courts, pools, gymnasiums and game rooms provided, but also many communities offer local transportation and some meals.
5. Look for a 55+ Community
For seniors who desire an even greater amount of independence, a final tip would be to look for a 55+ community. These senior living properties offer even more independence but typically boast fewer extraneous services. These homes are generally owned by the individual but are designed to meld with the aging process. For example, floor plans are usually one story, and bathrooms are roomy and include safety features.
Aging is a dynamic process that is different for each individual and for each family that provides care. These five tips will make the process of making an informed decision simpler. What is most important is that every senior has the level of care that best suits his needs and desires.