Inflation affects all consumers, but older Americans are facing an especially dramatic loss of buying power.
In the process of approaching retirement age, we may be considering future living options. Everyone has different preferences and needs that should be taken into consideration. Fortunately, American retirees have many choices.
Aging in Place
Aging in place is simply when a senior is able and chooses to continue living in their current home. If one is in generally good health, has a supportive network, and can handle most tasks independently, aging in place is a great option. Even if needs arise, living at home can still be very manageable. For example, homes can be modified to meet needs like mobility issues. Home health care is also an option that allows those needing regular medical assistance to stay at home as long as possible.
Independent or Retirement Communities
Independent or retirement communities are for active, independent seniors who enjoy living near other active seniors. Living arrangements vary from apartments to detached homes and are much like living in an HOA-style community. However, residents must be over a certain age. These communities often include home maintenance, landscaping, amenities, and community activities. This makes retirement communities a great option for independent seniors who no longer wish to maintain a home and enjoy socialization.
Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living facilities may be ideal for those who require some assistance with daily care but still want to maintain independence. Residents may have their own apartment or a shared living area with a private or semi-private bedroom and bathroom. This option provides help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, cooking, cleaning, and assistance with medication. However, assisted living facilities are not skilled nursing facilities and are not for those who require daily or complex medical assistance. The cost of assisted living varies but is typically high and generally paid privately.
Skilled Nursing Facilities
Skilled nursing facilities, also referred to as nursing homes, are for seniors who can’t live independently. Nursing homes provide care for those with illness or mental impairments requiring full medical care. In a nursing home, the rooms are typically semi-private, and meals are provided. This allows for socialization, despite the limitations of medical needs.
Like assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities offer various amenities and assistance with daily activities. However, they also offer 24-hour supervision and medical management. Because of the level of care provided at these facilities, the cost is relatively high. However, unlike assisted living facilities, Medicare can be used to cover the cost. Long-term care insurance and self-payment options are available too.
Memory Care Facilities
Memory care offers a specialized living arrangement for seniors with significant cognitive impairments, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. These facilities are similar to and may already be part of assisted living or skilled nursing facilities. However, they typically have more staffing that allows for increased supervision. Additionally, security features are used to prevent residents from wandering or leaving the facility unsupervised. The cost of memory care is similar to that of nursing homes and may be covered by Medicare, long-term care insurance, or self-payment.
There are many living options available to us as we age that vary greatly depending on the level of care needed. When considering these options, we need to anticipate our future needs considering cost and personal preferences. Planning early for alternative living arrangements is essential for the most favorable outcome. Our experts are available to guide you through your options and help you create a plan. Please contact us at 914-498-8709 and schedule a consultation to discuss your legal matters.