Senior Housing Options

Senior Housing Options

Recently, there has been a proliferation of senior housing communities. Families have many choices when the need for a senior housing facility arises. With so many new options in senior housing, it is important to seek professional assistance in order to make the right choice. One resource is a senior housing referral service. Family Advisors are available to answer questions about senior housing options.

Independent Living Communities

Independent communities cater to seniors who are very independent with few medical problems. Residents live in fully equipped private apartments. A variety of apartment sizes are available from studios to large two bedrooms. Fine dining services are offered with custom-designed meal packages. Often, residents can choose to pay for a specified number of meals per day. Frequently, there are numerous social outings and events to choose from for entertainment.

Also Known As: Retirement Communities; Congregate Care; Retirement Living
Payment Sources: Mostly private pay; Some government funded through Section 202
Price Range: $1000-$2500 per month

Assisted Living

Assisted Living communities are designed for seniors who are no longer able to live on their own safely but do not require the high level of care provided in a nursing home. Assistance with medications, activities of daily living, meals and housekeeping are routinely provided. Three meals per day are provided in a central dining room. Residents live in private apartments which frequently have a limited kitchen area. Staff are available 24 hours per day for additional safety. Most assisted living communities provide licensed nursing services. The hours vary greatly, so be sure to ask when you visit. Social activities and scheduled transportation are also available in most communities. A special unit for Alzheimer’s residents is available in some, but not all communities.

Also Known As: Assisted Care Community
Payment Sources: Mostly private pay; Some take Medicaid
Price Range: $1800 to $3500 per month depending on the size of apartment and level of assistance required; Alzheimer’s care ranges from $2800 to $3800 for a shared suite

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes provide around-the-clock skilled nursing care for the frail elderly who require a high level of medical care and assistance. Twenty-four hour skilled nursing services are available from licensed nurses. Many nursing homes now provide short-term rehabilitative stays for those recovering from an injury, illness or surgery. Long-term care residents generally have high
care needs and complex medical conditions that require routine skilled nursing services. Residents typically share a room and are served meals in a central dining area unless they are too ill to participate. Activities are also available. Some facilities have a separate unit for Alzheimer’s residents.

Also Known As: Convalescent Care; Nursing Center; Long Term Care Facility
Payment Sources: Private Pay; Medicare; Medicaid
Price Range:$4000 to $8000 per month

Alzheimer’s Care

Housing options for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s are numerous. With the memory impaired, it is important to have 24-hour support and structured activities to ensure their safety and quality of life. Many families try to care for their loved ones at home, which can be extremely difficult given the skill that is required to care for a person with memory problems.

If you need to consider a community, understand that Alzheimer’s care is delivered in the assisted living setting, as well as in nursing homes and occasionally in personal care homes. Generally, the residents live in semi-private apartments and have structured activities delivered by trained staff members. Most of these living environments have secured or locked areas to ensure no one wanders off. Many times, within the secured areas, residents have access to outdoor walking paths or gardens.
Also Known As: Memory Care; Dementia Care
Payment Sources: Private Pay; Medicaid
Price Range: $3000 to $6000 per month

Residential Care Homes

Residential care homes are private homes that typically serve residents who live together and receive care from live-in caretakers. These homes offer assisted care services for seniors who want a more private, home-like community. Assistance with activities of daily living such
as bathing and dressing are typically provided. Amenities and nursing services vary greatly between homes. Ask about their services when you tour.

Also Known As: Board and Care Homes; Group Homes; Adult Family Homes
Payment Sources: Private Pay; Medicaid (in some instances)
Price Range: $1500 to $3000 per month depending on the services and level of care provided

Respite Care

Respite care provides a temporary break for caregivers by allowing a resident to have a short-term stay in a community that can meet their needs. Many assisted living communities and nursing homes have a respite care program. Residents typically stay from a week to a month, depending on their situation. They receive all of the services of the community. Respite stays may also serve as a “get acquainted” period for the senior. Many residents find that they enjoy their stay and decide to move in soon after the short-term visit. Respite programs are available for assisted living and Alzheimer’s residents.

Also Known As: Short-Term Stay Programs
Payment Sources: Private Pay; Medicaid (in some instances)
Price Range:$75 – $150 per day

Home Care

Home care allows older people to remain in their own homes while receiving the assistance they need to help them remain independent. Typically, home care involves providing assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing and meal preparation or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) such as transportation, paying bills, making
appointments and simply being there to provide companionship and emotional support. Home care services range from once a week to 24 hours a day depending on the needs of the client.

Also Known As: Home Health Care; In-Home Personal Care
Payment Sources: Private Pay; Medicare/Medicaid via certified home health agencies
Price Range: Typically an hourly fee


Article Provided by:
Linda Temple, CSA,
A Place for Mom, Eldercare Advisor
Local & Toll Free 1-866-333-2268

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