Choosing the Senior Living Option that’s Right for You
Posted November 20, 2015

As you grow older, it becomes increasingly necessary to consider your living options for the later years of your life. There are a number of factors to consider, including your risk for Alzheimer’s or dementia, health problems that might make care more difficult as the years go by, and even your financial options. Ultimately, you need to choose the option that’s right for you, but be prepared to change your choice based on your condition when the day comes that you’re no longer able to care for yourself well enough to remain at home without assistance. Here are some of the most popular senior living options brought to you by Senior Planning services, a NJ-based Medicaid planning company that helps seniors and their families with Medicaid eligibility.
Nursing Home Care
In a nursing home, all of your physical and medical needs are met by the nursing home staff. There is someone on hand all the time to take care of you if something happens. Nursing home care provides the highest level of medical care of any senior living option. This is particularly important if your medical needs have exceeded your ability to live at home or receive care in another facility. You may also consider nursing home care as a temporary option following hospitalization for illness or injury, even if you expect to be able to return to your home later. Nursing homes do put a number of limits on your freedom. Depending on the facility, you may feel that your room is small and cramped or even find yourself sharing a room with a stranger.
assisted living
Assisted living facilities are typically the step before a nursing home. They allow for a great deal of independence and encourage you to complete anything you’re able to, but they also have staff on hand 24 hours a day to cover your needs. While the medical care is not as extensive as what’s available in a nursing home, at an assisted living facility, you’ll have some help with daily tasks as needed. That includes taking medication and some other minor medical care. assisted living facilities often have common dining areas and recreation areas to allow you to interact with other seniors. In some cases, they may have full apartments, complete with kitchens. In others, they’ll have single rooms and may require you to share a room depending on how much you’re willing or able to pay.
Independent Living
Community living is designed to provide for the needs of senior adults who are still active and part of life, but who are no longer able to keep up with the demands of a large home. These communities typically have easy access to transportation, a recreation center for interactions with others, and smaller homes/ or apartments that are designed to be more convenient and safer for senior citizens. Depending on needs, there may also be access to home health care or help with basic chores.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
CCRCs begin much like community living. As a senior’s needs increase, they’re able to simply move to a higher level of care. This is an excellent choice if you and your spouse will need different levels of care but still want to remain close. CCRCs often require residents to move in and secure a spot when they’re still able to live in an independent living environment, so it’s important to think ahead for this retirement option.
Aging in Place 
For many seniors, the idea of moving out of their home is not at all appealing. They prefer the idea of aging in place, simply making modifications to the home in order to allow them to remain there longer. Aging in place may require changes to the existing home: installing wheelchair ramps, widening doorways, and adding grab bars and walk-in tubs. Home health care options may help with meal delivery, basic cleaning tasks, and even daily care tasks. The initial expense to change the home to make it senior-friendly may be high, and aging in place can be more expensive in the long run. To compare the cost check out this cost of living comparison tool.
Ultimately, the choice about where you want to spend the later years of your life is up to you. Whether you’re hoping to live in a managed care community where you’ll be surrounded by other seniors and everything you’ll need to take care of your needs, or prefer the comfort of readily accessible medical care, start planning early and make your needs known to your children and other loved ones. You want to choose the retirement living option that you’re sure will work best for you.  And you will want to start looking sooner rather than later. Senior Living Experts can help answer any questions about any of the communities in the greater Chicagoland area. Feel free to contact us today!
 

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