As we age, it’s more important than ever to begin the difficult conversation about Senior Living. According to PRB.org, the population of Americans age 65+ will more than double by 2060, making up 24% of the entire US population. There will be an overwhelming need for care-takers, nurses and housing, and there may be limited or no options available for those who don't plan ahead. Read below to learn how you and your loved ones can feel at ease with properly planned Senior Living options.
You may be a senior who had every intention in retiring and living out the rest of your life in the home you raised your kids in. Perhaps as you get older, you realize the home is empty and more than you can sustain. You may want to consider an active senior living community. It’ll allow you more freedom from the financial burdens of holding on to a big home in your elder years. Active senior living communities are Independent living communities designed for the active and healthy seniors who are able to live independently on their own.3 There are many different options to live in, such as: a home, condo, townhouse, apartment complex, motor home or mobile home.4 Senior active living communities can be found all over the nation and there are no shortage of options for every kind of senior. Let’s take a look at a few different options for active senior living.
If you’re the type of senior who cares about being economical and wants to be amongst a community of people like you, senior apartments may be a great fit. Senior apartments are for seniors who are looking for a low-maintenance lifestyle. The apartments offer a lower cost lifestyle which may be the ideal community. Senior apartments still provide excellent amenities such as housekeeping, dining, and activities that make life easier and more enjoyable.5 Unlike non-age restricted apartments, senior apartments take in consideration the aging elderly community it services when designing the communities. Many apartments may not be handicap accessible, equipped with handrails, ramps, elevators, etc. Senior apartments are created with this in mind and restricted to the ages who need it the most.
If you’re a senior who prefers communities with no youthful disruptions, you may want to consider age-restricted communities. An age-restricted community is particularly aimed towards ages 55 and older. Under rules set down by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) in the Fair Housing Act, the housing must include at least one person who is age 55 or older in at least 80 percent of the occupied units.6 That means if you are under the age of 19, you are prohibited from being a permanent resident. If you’re a resident of an age restricted community, you most likely lead a very independent and active lifestyle. With country club style settings, seniors take advantage of amenities like golf courses, clubhouses, computer labs, business centers, recreational spaces, hiking and walking trails, and many other features. There generally aren’t care professionals on staff as these communities are usually not equipped to provide increased care or health-related services.7 There are generally HOA or condo fees for outdoor maintenance.
Most seniors and families take the conventional route when thinking about their senior living arrangements. There are more unconventional options to consider as well. One of those unconventional options is called cohousing. Cohousing.org8, run by the Cohousing Association of the United States, define it as "an intentional community of private homes clustered around a shared space." What makes cohousing community unique is residents live privately in condos or attached homes and share certain amenities with other residents. The shared common space varies from community to community. Generally, cohousing communities have common houses that include dining rooms for the community to come together and eat, kitchens to cook shared meals, and many other shared benefits. There are extra bedrooms in the common area for guests or if needed, caregivers.9 There are some cohousing communities that offer more upgraded amenities such as fitness facilities, pools, media centers, and other perceived bells and whistles.
There are many online options that’ll assist you with finding the best senior living situation for you or your family members. SeniorLiving.org provides a zip search to find living nearest to you and has planning resources at your disposal. Retirementliving.com is also a great resource for finding active senior living communities and contains resource guides for assistance. Aplaceformom.com is also a great planning source for helping you find the best senior living options available.
https://www.prb.org/aging-unitedstates-fact-sheet, https://www.seniorliving.org/research/, https://www.seniorliving.org/lifestyles/active-senior/, https://www.seniorliving.org/lifestyles/apartments/, https://www.retirementliving.com/active-adult-communities, https://cohousing.org/