Find Apartments Tailored to the Needs of the Elderly

May 7th 2016

Sometimes finding an apartment for the elderly can be quite difficult and stressful. With choices such as assisted living, care homes, continuing care and nursing homes, things can get confusing. So how do you find apartments tailored to meet the needs of the elderly?

First, you must drop all preconceived notions that living in a senior apartment means losing all independence. Most senior living facilities allow their residents to plan their own day and offer a wide variety of activities for the resident to engage in.

Types of Senior Housing

In the U.S., there are four kinds of senior living facilities: subsidized senior housing, senior apartments of congregate care, retirement communities and continuing care retirement communities. Subsidized senior housing offers the elderly a place to live that is subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for low-income seniors. Senior apartments tend to be age-restricted, and will typically have enrichment programs designed for seniors in a variety of health situations. Many senior apartments offer transportation to local shops and activities outside the living facility; however, the number and quality of options ranges from facility to facility, making research imperative to choosing the right facility. It is also important to determine if your senior needs an assisted-living home or senior living home. Assisted-living homes tend to have more medical facilities and staff, but will typically provide less lifestyle options, while senior living homes will primary be age-restricted but provide a significant amount of freedom and age-appropriate activities.

Retirement homes tend to offer the most freedom, and provide limited medical services in an age-restricted single-family home or apartment setting, while continuing care communities are for seniors who are reasonably healthy, but might develop health issues in the short to medium-term.

Choosing Senior Housing

When choosing a retirement community or active adult community, you should consider the amenities offered, activities that residents can participate in and services offered in the apartment. Questions you should ask yourself before making the choice include: does the resident need an open floor plan with room for a walker or a wheelchair? Does the resident need someone to keep track of medication for him or her? Would you like the resident to participate in community activities, such as parties, continuing education classes or movie nights? Does the facility offer a pool, fitness center and other facilities that the resident might need to use? These questions will help determine what kind of facility to look for.

Once you have chosen which type of facility is correct, there are a number of considerations to make to narrow the options down to a couple of ideal choices. The first step is to make sure that the facility is in a building that can support the accessibility requirements of the senior, and also has the medical expertise necessary to handle any mental or health issues. It is also worth looking into the type of enrichment programs and other amenities that the facility offers, as well as how well the staff are trained and licensed. If family and friends will be visiting frequently, make sure to find a facility that provides simple guest passes and is located close by. Finally, be sure to consider the cost, and whether or not there are financial aid programs to help with the cost.

Once you have these questions in order, along with any other questions you decide upon, search for the apartment that best satisfies all your needs. Using a free service, like New Lifestyles or Eldercare (a government website), you can find  the kind of apartment tailored to the needs you desire.

Finding an apartment or home tailored to the needs of the elderly is often a difficult thing, but, with time and a little organization, you can find the perfect place for the senior in your life.


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