The advantages of senior care housing

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | Jun 02, 2011

Seniors who are unable, whether for physical or financial reasons, to continue living independently in their current home, will find some excellent senior care options available to them. Many seniors don’t require assisted living, yet could benefit from some level of care or support in their day-to-day lives. Most of us prefer to maintain our independence for as long as possible, so planning for senior care needs can include moving to a facility with a higher level of onsite support options. Consider your future needs—physical, medical, social, emotional and financial—when choosing your senior housing.

Senior Care in ECHO Housing

Elderly Cottage Housing Opportunities (ECHO) senior housing units can be in the form of a temporary mobile home, or a separate small apartment on the same property as a family home. The idea for this type of housing unit began in Australia for the elderly who wanted to live near their family—but not with them. Senior care and support comes in the form of family or friends who are near enough to offer help or assistance, while still allowing the senior a level of privacy. ECHO housing can be a good way to reduce living expenses, stay close to family and reduce the stress that can come from maintaining a home and grounds on your own. You will need to check specific zoning laws in your city or county to see if an ECHO unit is allowed.

Staying in Your Home with Added Senior Care

Many seniors prefer to stay in their own home as they age. The benefits include familiarity, ties to the neighborhood and community and, if the home is paid for, definite financial benefits as well. Seniors who choose to age in place may need only to make minor modifications to their home to cover future medical and safety needs. If the home and yard maintenance is not overwhelming and your physical and mental needs do not require high levels of senior care, then staying in your own home could be the best choice for you. A wide array of senior care services can allow independence within the comfort of your own home.  Depending on the level of senior care you need, you may opt for home meal delivery, house and yard work help or home health care.

Senior Care Assisted Living

Assisted living can come in many forms such as residential care, group homes or board and care. Assisted living is a good option for those who need either a minor amount of extra help with daily living activities, minor medication help, or more extensive and personal care services than are available at a retirement community. There will be round-the-clock staff available, and while some assisted living facilities will provide apartment-style living with efficiency kitchenettes, others will only include a room.

Senior Care in the Form of Continuing Care Retirement Facility

CCRCs are senior care facilities which encompass independent living, assisted living and nursing home care in one location, allowing seniors to stay in the same general area as their housing needs change over time.  The primary benefit to such a facility, other than remaining in one central place, is that spouses can remain close to one another even if one requires a higher level of senior care than the other.

Senior Care Nursing Homes

Typically the highest level of senior care available to older adults, outside a hospital, most nursing homes not only offer help in the daily living activities, but a high level of medical care as well. There is a licensed physician who supervises each resident’s medical care, and either the physician or a nurse or other medical professional is always on site in case of a medical emergency. While most of us tend to think of nursing homes as very institutional settings, they have become less so in the past few years.

As you can see, there are many choices for senior care housing, and only you can decide which one is the best for your individual situation. While no one can predict the future, you must carefully consider whether you or your spouse currently suffers from a chronic medical condition which will likely worsen, whether your finances will change substantially in the future, and what level of medical, caregiving and social support you believe you will require in the future.



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