As you grow older, your housing needs may change. Maybe you’ll get tired of doing yard work. You might want to retire in sunny Florida or live close to your grandchildren in another state. Perhaps you’ll need to live in a nursing home or an assisted-living facility. Or, after considering your options, you may even decide to stay where you are. When the time comes to evaluate your housing situation, you’ll have numerous options available to you.
There’s no place like home
Are you able to take care of your home by yourself? If your answer is no, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to move. On the other hand, change may be just what you need to get a new perspective on life. To evaluate whether you can continue living in your home or if it’s time for you to move, consider the following questions:
- How willing are you to let someone else help you?
- Can you afford to hire help, or will you need to rely on friends, relatives, or volunteers?
- How far do you live from family and/or friends?
- How close do you live to public transportation?
- How easily can you renovate your home to address your physical needs?
- How easily do you adjust to change?
- How easily do you make friends?
- How does your family feel about you moving or about you staying in your own home?
- How does your spouse feel about moving?
Assisted-living residences typically offer rental rooms or apartments, housekeeping services, meals, social activities, and transportation. The primary focus of an assisted-living facility is social, not medical, but some facilities do provide limited medical care. Assisted-living facilities can be state-licensed or unlicensed, and they primarily serve senior citizens who need more help than those who live in independent living communities.
Before entering an assisted-living residence, you should carefully read the contract and tour the facility. Some facilities are large, caring for over a thousand people. Others are small, caring for fewer than five people. Consider whether the facility meets your needs:
- Do you have enough privacy?
- How much personal care is provided?
- What happens if you get sick?
- Can you be asked to leave the facility if your physical or mental health deteriorates?
- Is the facility licensed or unlicensed?
- Who is in charge of health and safety?
Reading the fine print on the contract may save you a lot of time and money later if any conflict over services or care arises. If you find the terms of the contract confusing, ask a family member for help or consult an attorney. Check the financial strength of the company, especially if you’re making a long-term commitment.
As for the cost, a wide range of care is available at a wide range of prices. Keep in mind that Medicare probably will not cover your expenses at these facilities, unless those expenses are health-care related and the facility is licensed to provide medical care.
For more information on assisted living, contact Spring Arbor.