According to Harvard University, there will be an estimated 70 million seniors (65 and older) residing in the United States by 2030. Seniors make up around 25% of the home owning population, the largest rate of homeownership by age group. While the majority of seniors would prefer to remain in their own homes after retirement, not all homes are adequate to meet the health care requirements of seniors. There are many types of senior housing that provide the amenities and assistance that can promote independent living for seniors – which is right for you or your loved one? In order to decide which type of senior housing is best for your individual circumstances, you should first know a little about each type and your options.

There are five main types of senior housing arrangements, according to a list compiled by Harvard University.

  1. Assisted Living Communities – These types of communities offer a wide variety of arrangements for seniors who require some assistance with day to day living, but do not need full-time nursing care. They range from facilities that offer help with day to day chores such as housekeeping and personal hygiene to those that offer only meals and recreational activities.
  1. Independent Living Communities – These are most often age restricted communities where seniors who are at or over retirement age can reside. Intended for active and relatively healthy seniors, they do not offer in-home assistance, but often have easy access to groups, clubs, and sports activities. These types of retirement communities are very popular in the Southern and Western states.
  1. Shared Housing – This involves a senior who lives with an individual less than 60 years of age, either at the senior’s home or the home of the other individual.
  1. Supported Housing – In this scenario the senior resides in their own home, but with daily assistance from someone outside the home who is not a family member. A good example of this would be organizations such as FirstLight Home Care or The Home Care Team.
  1. Conventional Housing – This is by far the most popular choice of senior housing as far as the seniors themselves are concerned. The AARP has stated that according to polls, 90% of seniors would prefer to stay in their own homes if possible. In order to do this however, the senior must be in at least moderately good health and be able to take care of their day to day needs on their own. In many cases this is possible with minor modifications to the home, such as walk in showers rather than bathtubs or chair lifts for navigating stairs.

Which type of senior housing is right depends on a variety of factors. For those who have only minimal health issues, remaining in a conventional home may be a viable option. For those who require some assistance occasionally, but prefer to do most things for themselves, may want to explore the possibility of an independent living senior community. For those who need daily assistance with chores and personal grooming however, they may want to look more closely into assisted living facilities. In other words, each situation must be evaluated carefully and the wishes and opinions of everyone involved must be taken into account. Senior living options have made dramatic progress in the past several decades and no matter what level of care is needed, there are many facilities that will suit the needs of you or your loved one.  The Small Assisted Living Coalition would be honored to help you.  Please click here or call us at 813-857-2551.