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Finding Home after 65

What options are there for senior living?

If you’re over the age of 55, you’re considered a senior citizen by some standards. You may get a discount at certain restaurants, on cellphone plans, movie tickets, or hotel stays. According to your healthcare plan, however, you may not be considered a senior until you’ve reached the age of 65, which is also the age when most people decide to retire.

Someone who’s a senior citizen is traditionally finished raising a family and is no longer in the workforce. Though known as the silver and golden years, health problems may start to multiply at this time. Hearing or vision loss, chronic pain, and the loss of mobility can force seniors to begin slowing down. Additionally, this new phase of life often necessitates the need for a new living situation.

Whether you’re a senior citizen or are caring for an elderly family member, here are some common options for senior citizen living.

In Their Own Home

While not the norm, some people well into their 90s are able to live on their own. They’re in good overall physical and mental health and are able to make their own meals, get around, care for a home, and manage bills.

Other seniors remain at home but are no longer able to care for themselves or their home. They may have caretakers, nurses, or relatives who live with them full- or part-time, helping to provide transportation, meal preparation, support, and healthcare coordination.

Independent Living Community

Many active seniors over the age of 55 choose to live in communities designed for aging adults. Residents are independent in their apartments or small homes, but have assistance nearby if needed. As an added perk, a retirement community provides an immediately accessible environment in which seniors can get social interaction. Some communities offer daily or weekly events, fitness centers, swimming pools, landscaping service, security, and transportation to nearby shopping.

Assisted Living Community

When seniors reach the point where they are no longer able to care for themselves and require daily assistance, it may be time to move to an assisted living residence. These communities offer 24-hour supervision with skilled nursing care, meals, bathing, transportation, medication management, housekeeping, laundry, social programs, and daily monitoring. Residents typically live in private or semi-private suites.

Residential Care Home

Some people prefer a home atmosphere compared to an institution. Residential care homes are an option for seniors who require daily assistance and care, but want the feel of a home. Live-in caretakers are available 24 hours a day to help with meals, laundry, housekeeping, medication management, transportation, and social activities. Residents live in private or semi-private rooms with shared spaces.

Memory Care

Adults with moderate to severe dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may need to live in a home that specializes in memory care. Here, staff members are specially trained to care for seniors with memory loss. Structured social activities, exercise, and physical therapy are offered. Patients receive around-the-clock care, supervision, and security. Residents may live in private rooms or semi-private apartments, their meals are provided, and their medication is managed.

Nursing Home

Many aging adults can no longer take care of themselves due to chronic, severe health problems or injury. When this is the case, they may require 24-hour monitoring and skilled nursing care in a nursing home. Also known as skilled nursing facilities, a nursing home provides on-site physicians, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, meals, social activities, laundry service, and hospice care. Medical equipment is available if necessary. Rooms may be private or there may be one or more roommates.