|Housing options generally fail into three
categories, based on level of services and/or care provided:
Independent Living Retirement Communities - These complexes are
for seniors who are able to live on their own, but want the convenience of a comprehensive
service package. Meals, housekeeping, activities, transportation and security are provided
to active older adults.
Assisted Living Facilities - In addition
to the services mentioned above, these facilities provide personal care assistance to
residents. This means that, in addition to housekeeping services, residents receive
assistance in managing their medications. and a helping hand with bathing, grooming and
dressing. "Assisted Living" facilities come in all shapes and sizes. Settings
can range from three or more older people in a homelike setting, to dozens of residents in
an institutional environment.
Nursing Homes - For individuals already
disabled to the point of requiring daily nursing care as well as other support services,
nursing homes provide comprehensive care services in a single setting. While most older
persons and their families see nursing home care only as a last resort, they may in fact
be the best setting for disabled persons with multiple problems and requiring multiple
types of services.
In Home Services - One option is to
purchase in-home services, to cope with declining abilities. For a fee, an army of workers
will appear to cut your grass, wash your windows, cook your meals, do the shopping, and
even provide personal care and/or skilled nursing care. This may be the option for you,
depending on the amount of help you need. However, this can be expensive and will require
a lot of management and coordination.
Group Homes provide independent, private living in a
house shared by several senior citizens who split the cost of rent, housekeeping services,
utilities, and meals.
Shared Housing is offered by home owners who are
willing to share their house with others. Service provision must be negotiated on a
Adult Foster Care involves a family caring for a
dependent person in their home. Meals, housekeeping and help with dressing, eating,
bathing, and other personal care are provided. Ask the local social services department if
adult foster care is available in your area.