When it comes to planning senior living arrangements, there are a lot of things to consider. Level of independence, the amount of medical care required and cost should all be taken into account, but there are additional factors to consider when looking for senior housing, depending on your needs and wants. Is the location focused on leisure activities, faith-based or fully staffed with medical personnel?
These properties can go by several names, but one thing remains the same – residents must be at least 55 years old to live there. Age-Restricted Communities are regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and are not meant for people who require ongoing medical care. There is generally a monthly mortgage payment as well as a monthly payment to the management company for ground maintenance and use of communal facilities (which can vary but sometimes includes a clubhouse, pool or computer room). The average cost ranges from $1,500 to $10,000 a month, and property types can vary from single family residences to apartment-style living.
Sometimes called residential care facilities, assisted living quarters are geared towards seniors who require some degree of physical or medical assistance, or are aware that they will in the near future. Adults with a degenerative or progressive diagnosis like Alzheimer's disease or dementia often start in locations such as these before more intensive care is needed. Amenities can vary, but quarters are generally laid out like dorm rooms or apartment-style living, with all meals provided in a common area. Medical staff is available to help administer medications and to provide light care. Transportation to shopping centers and offsite events is usually provided for residents. Single-room apartments average $2,575 a month.
For seniors who require access to 24-hour care but do not need the level of intensive care that hospitals provide, there are nursing homes. These have on-site staff to assist with day-to-day tasks like feeding and bathing, as well as housekeeping needs. While most residents enter a nursing home for a long-term stay, these facilities also offer part-time or temporary care. They generally accept Medicaid but do not accept Medicare. Costs start at approximately $219 a day for a private room and $198 a day for a semi-private room, based on figures from Senior Living.
Continuing Care Retirement Facilities
Continuing care residences offer the benefits of both age-restricted communities and nursing homes, without having to transition from one facility to another. They accept seniors who are fully independent as well as those who require 24-hour medical care. Due to the demand created by the flexibility of these types of homes, the waiting list for applicants can be several months. There is both an upfront fee, due prior to moving in, and a monthly fee. According to The Caregivers Library, the average upfront cost can range between $60,000 and $120,000, with an accompanying monthly fee of anywhere between $1,000 and $1,600. These fees cover a wide range of services and amenities. In most cases, the fees are fixed and increase only with inflation over the lifetime of the resident, and the down payment can be counted as equity.
- Retirement Living Information Center: Senior Living
- Senior Living: Find the Best Senior Housing Options
- National Caregivers Library: Continuing Care Retirement Communites
- HUD.gov: Senior Housing: What You Should Know
- Senior Caring: What's the Difference Between a Senior Living Community and an Independent Living Community