How to Choose Between Assisted and Independent Living Options

When it comes to potential living situations, older adults can have a number of options to choose from. Among them are assisted living facilities and independent living communities. To choose between them, you will need to know what each one has to offer.

What’s Assisted Living?

According to the National Center for Assisted Living, seniors who opt for assisted living facilities usually have some level of independence but may need assistance with certain daily tasks. These tasks can include personal care services like bathing as well as medication management. The facilities may also have exercise and wellness areas that cater to your wellbeing. Depending on your preference, you may be able to choose a private room or share with someone else. If you have early signs of dementia or a chronic illness, an assisted living facility works well as they usually provide 24-hour supervision and healthcare services. When choosing a facility, make sure to do your research and take a tour before making a decision.

What’s Independent Living?

As the name suggests, independent living communities are designed for older adults who are able to manage their daily lives on their own. Some independent living facilities may still offer some assistance but not at the same level as an assisted living facility. According to Aging Care, these communities can take three different forms. The first is a general community that allows seniors to be independent but still enjoy the company of other seniors. Senior apartments are next and these may offer services like transportation and community dining. The last option is low-income housing, which provides similar services to the senior apartments but costs less. Checking out the facilities near you is a great way to see if they’re a fit for your needs.

Are Those the Only Options?

According to Consumer Affairs, independent and assisted living are only two out of the eleven possible housing options seniors have. Age-restricted communities can work well for persons who are independent while nursing homes are another route for seniors who need assistance. Continuing care retirement communities offer mixed solutions for seniors who would like to live in the same community as their health changes. If you’re up for having a roommate, then home-sharing may be right for you. You can have companionship while sharing the responsibilities of taking care of the home and paying the bills. Someone else will also be there to contact emergency services if you need it. If you don’t have anyone in mind, there are online resources that can match you with a potential roommate.

What About Cost?

When choosing where to live, how much it will cost you is an important consideration to keep in mind. The cost of an independent living community can vary widely depending on your location and the types of services that are offered. It can start from a low of $1,800 per month but climb into the thousands. On the other hand, 2019 rates show that assisted living costs were at their lowest in Missouri, where it was $2,357 per month; the District of Colombia had the highest rate of $6,700 per month. You can pay these costs out of pocket or find out what, if any, assistance is available to you from Medicare or Medicaid. If you’re a veteran, then look into what the US Department of Veteran Affairs has to offer.

Now that you’re in your golden years, this is not the time to live somewhere that isn’t comfortable. When you’re ready to make your decision, make sure you choose somewhere that provides companionship, exercise and meets your health-related needs.

This article was exclusively written by our friend Sharon Wagner of SeniorFriendly for our Allpoint readers.

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