3 Factors to Consider When Weighing a Senior Housing Option

The senior American population has been increasing, and projections show that by 2060, there will be about 95 million people aged 65 years and above. This, according to the CDC, is attributed to seniors enjoying longer lifespans.

Planning for your future starts with considering the best living arrangement for you now and down the road. The best situation is one that allows you to maintain some independence, remain close to the people you love and get the help you need over time.

Here, we highlight three housing options and when they make sense for an older adult, zeroing in on the factors to consider with each option, and for whom they are most suited. Read to learn more.

Independent Living

This is a fancy term meaning that a senior chooses to age in place after retirement. This could be in their current home or a smaller one that better fits their lifestyle. Aging in place allows you to stay in a familiar environment and makes it easier to get some help from family and friends close by. How can you tell if aging in place is right for you?

  • Your present home doesn’t need much maintenance
  • You like the idea of staying in your old environment
  • You only need minor assistance with your daily living activities

Just keep in mind that if you opt to age in place, you’ll need to make certain modifications to ensure your house is safer and more comfortable.  AARP’s HomeFit Guide shows room-by-room modifications to turn your home into a safe, lifelong home. Additionally, there are essential arrangements to consider so that you live safely and comfortably. For example, will you tend to yard upkeep and home maintenance or will you get help from family or a service? This is one of many questions to ask yourself when weighing the option to stay put.

Downsizing Your Home

Another independent living option is moving to a senior community, which is a planned residence built with older adults in mind. The type of housing varies depending on what you want, but these houses are already modified and more compact. Most independent living communities don’t offer medical assistance or nursing staff.

Alternatively, you can sell your house to buy a regular home that’s more accessible and easier to manage. If you choose this route and you plan to use the proceeds from selling your current home, it’s crucial to do your research to ensure you get the best selling price. Remember, you want to come out ahead to make it more financially feasible to buy a smaller home.

Study your housing market by looking at comparable listings to see what other houses of similar size in your neighborhood are selling for, and visit listed homes or open houses to see how they compare to yours. In Kahului, for example, the current median home sale price is $813K. Turn to online tools, appraisals, and a realtor to help you determine your home’s value.

Assisted Living Facilities

This is an option for seniors who need some help with their daily living activities like housekeeping, cooking meals, or traveling to appointments. You can maintain a level of independence while still having access to help when you need it.

In this community environment, you have a chance to start a new hobby, socialize with other seniors and still have considerable independence and privacy, with the safety of a personalized care plan.

Only you can know which housing option is right for you. For example, you may choose to age in place and bear the cost of housekeeping and home maintenance to be near family. Alternatively, you may decide to sell your home at a profit and switch to assisted living with the proceeds from your home’s sale.

There are non-monetary costs to consider with your choice of housing, and often these make the most significant impact on the quality of your life. Whatever you choose, discuss lifelong needs, not just your present needs. Choose an option that will serve you for the longest time possible.

This guest article was written by Harry Cline from newcaregiver.org

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