For many seniors, growing older may mean a change of residence. Changes in your financial situation, your growing inability to do routine maintenance or personal changes in your life may give you a very clear signal that it's time to make a move. But a change of residence can be both a challenging and traumatic event. These suggestions for finding senior housing may help to reduce your stress.
- How to Begin. Before you put even one thing in a box, you need to self-evaluate and determine in advance what kind of housing you need and can afford. Finding senior housing is more than just hunting for real estate. It involves matching who you are right now with the type of accommodations that will allow you to live securely and happily in the immediate future.
There are several types of housing to consider and the differences among them are considerable. First, there are accommodations that are called "Independent Living." This means that those who choose this kind of senior housing should feel competent to make their own meals, complete basic household chores, be mindful of medications and feel comfortable functioning without assistance. In many independent living accommodations, some assistance can be procured for heavy or outdoor manual labor. Independent living is living the way you have been for most of your life, only now you are doing so in a community setting made up exclusively or predominantly of senior citizens just like you.
Independent living arrangements sometimes do not meet the needs of the elderly. For this reason there are other levels of senior housing that are available. If you function well on your own, but would like the security of knowing there is help available when you need it, that your meals are being prepared and that your living space is being monitored, you will want to look for senior housing described as "Assisted Living." Some seniors may have memory issues that have been diagnosed as progressive. They may want the security of living in senior housing for Alzheimer's Care. If your health is failing or you have conditions that require round-the-clock medical surveillance, you and your relatives will be looking for senior housing that is primarily a nursing home facility.
There is even senior housing that is described as Continuous Care. People seeking senior housing may begin in housing labeled as "Independent Living," but as their abilities decline, they will have the option to transition within a Continuous Care arrangement to other appropriate settings in the same senior housing complex. There are a variety of online sites, such as SeniorHousingNet, that will help you to determine what category of senior living is appropriate for you .
- Narrow Your Search. Because of the increase in the total number of seniors in the United States today, there are literally thousands of senior housing settings for seniors of all descriptions. You need to reduce your choices by location, by type, and by expense.
It's important as you reduce the total number of options you are considering not to skip by properties that might be a perfect match for you. For this reason, you should use as many search venues as possible. Your local and regional paper, especially the Sunday editions, have large spreads of senior housing selections for your consideration. Your senior center may offer information from nearby senior properties. Don't be afraid to visit open house sessions frequently offered at local senior living accommodations.
Perhaps the easiest viewing option is sitting at your computer and checking into one of the several senior housing sites that are available. The sites allow you to check in on senior housing options already categorized for you by type, location, services provided and price. Lots of the leg work has already been done for you. Using online sites, such as NewLifestyles, lets you do a lot of weeding out without much effort at all.
- Government Assistance. One of the most difficult parts of making a transition from your own residence to some form of senior housing is the expense. Seniors have far less income to make mistakes with and a lot more anxiety about financial transactions of any kind.
You can reduce the anxiety and maybe the cost of senior housing by investigating online what the Federal Government has to offer seniors looking for senior housing. The U.S. DepartmentofHousingandUrbanDevelopment is filled with information geared to help you discover the many varieties of financial assistance the government can supply. The main government housing site also provides numerous direct links to federal resource sites and links that provide senior housing assistance information of a more general nature.
- Look Early and Often. The transition to senior housing can eventually provide you with a good deal of peace of mind, reduced financial strain and comfortable new accommodations. These kinds of positive results are worth whatever time you can put into the search. The important thing is not to wait. Even if you aren't planning a move for two years or more, it is never too early to start making yourself aware of the choices down the road.
So keep your eyes open, go to those senior community open houses, listen to the chatter at the senior center, begin checking out those ads in the paper and go online. The more you know, the better prepared you will be to provide yourself with a smooth and satisfactory transition when the time comes.
- Remember Your Family. As consuming as your search for senior housing may be, don't forget to include your family in your planning. They are likely to be your main lines of support and caring. They will want to help as you look. Their impartial and reasoned reaction to properties can provide positive assistance as you navigate your way through the many possibilities.
The move to senior housing need not be traumatic. It can be the beginning of new friendships, new activities and new joy. Like most good things, it just takes some planning and a little bit of know-how.