By Home Instead Senior Care/caregiverstress.com
Photograph courtesy of Home Instead Senior Care
Today's seniors have plenty of options for aging in style. Here are a few:
1. Stay Home!
By far the most popular place for seniors to age is at home, according to numerous surveys. While staying at home may provide for the most independence, most North American homeowners ages 55 to 75 surveyed by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network, are not proactively thinking of home care as an option when they think of aging in place. The most desirable lifestyle changes listed by survey respondents were hiring a contractor to make repairs and someone to clean. A third of seniors desire a smaller, low-maintenance home as they age, with 34 percent wanting to move to a condo, apartment or townhome/duplex. However, nearly half (48 percent) still wish for a single family home.
In addition to the many design innovations and technological advances, the growth in the home care industry has provided older adults with the opportunity to stay home longer than they ever could. There are two different types of home care: home health care provided by licensed medical professionals for which you may need a prescription, and in-home care that provides personal care, homemaker or companionship services. For more about how to find the best option for you, check out The Home Care Solution: A Guide to the Best Choices for Seniors and Those Who Care About Them (PDF).
2. It Takes A Village
The village concept began in Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood in 2001, when a group of residents founded a nonprofit called Beacon Hill Village to ease access to the services that often force older Americans to give up their homes and move to a retirement community. Help comes from other able-bodied village members, younger neighbors, or youth groups doing community service. Villages also provide lists of approved home-maintenance contractors, many of whom offer discounts to members. By relying on this mix of paid and volunteer help, members can organize a menu of assistance similar to what they would receive at a retirement community, but without uprooting their household.
3. Independent Living
Forty percent of North American homeowners between ages 55 and 75 surveyed by Home Instead said they would prefer to live in an independent senior living community if they could not live at home. Independent living is housing designed exclusively for seniors such as retirement communities, retirement homes, senior housing and senior apartments. Many cater to the 55+ crowd and a community atmosphere provides opportunities for socializing. In general, this type of housing is smaller and more compact with services such as lawn care and snow removal.
4. Residential Care Homes
This option provides personalized service to small groups of adults. They may also be known as adult family homes or personal care homes. Residential care homes are generally less expensive than skilled or nursing care communities.
5. Continuing Care Retirement Community
These communities provide services throughout the entire spectrum of care from independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing care. Residents can start in the independent living section and move to different parts of the same community if they need increasing levels of care. According to the Home Instead research, secondary desires for their new community are focused on personal connections, with 52 percent wanting to be close to family and friends, and 49 percent wanting a community with activities for seniors.
6. Assisted Living
Assisted living communities are for those who are generally independent but need some assistance. They provide a wide variety of services including meals, medication management, bathing, dressing, housekeeping and transportation. Group dining, social and recreational activities provide a community atmosphere.
7. Nursing Home or Skilled Nursing Facility
Skilled nursing is for older adults who need 24-hour supervised care including meals, activities and health management support. Those with more serious physical or mental needs and are unable to care for themselves often choose this option. Licensed physicians supervise residents' care, and nurses along with other medical professionals are available 24-7.
Help determine the best option by assessing individual needs and budget. Learn more about the costs of senior care.
All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.