Aging Options

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Choosing the Right Housing Option: A Helpful Overview

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One of the most important choices a retiree must make is where he or she will live. Choosing the right housing option among the growing number of choices available can be a daunting task! How do you find the right balance of affordability, appropriate care, adequate resources and appealing quality of life?

Maybe you’re starting to think through those issues for yourself and your spouse. Perhaps you are facing the need to advise an aging parent or loved one about their housing choices. In any case, for a good basic overview of present options, this article from the website offers a helpful listing of housing choices, and some criteria to guide you and a loved one into the best option.

The article starts with the choice many seniors say they prefer – living independently, often called “aging in place.” The article point out that this choice is going to require continual reevaluation as your loved one ages, since the circumstances that allow him or her to live independently today may be quite different five years from now. The article also includes links to remodeling resources, since some changes to your loved one’s home (or yours) may be required. There’s also a link to a helpful Local Resources Directory: it might surprise you to know how many resources there are out there today to help seniors stay in their homes!

A second option, related to the first, is relocating (and typically downsizing) – moving into a new, usually smaller home, often closer to adult children. This is a great choice if living close to Mom or Dad is appealing to one or more of the kids, and vice versa. There’s a link to an article explaining the idea of a “senior move manager,” a trained professional your family may wish to employ to help minimize the stress of relocation for an aging adult.

What about obtaining in-home care? Or having Mom or Dad move in with you? The article suggests a few important considerations you’ll want to review before you decide on these options. For example, having Mom come to live in your house might seem like a good idea, but the article cautions that it may not be that simple. “You’ll also need to consider your schedule and her care needs and level of mobility,” the author writes. “If you work full-time and she can’t get around on her own, she may feel more isolated living with you than she would in an eldercare community where she could socialize with other residents.”  In other words, honest assessment of the situation is essential in making a wise choice.

The article concludes with a review of institutional options: independent living communities, assisted living communities, continuing-care communities, family group homes and memory care facilities. While many of us may be familiar with some or all of these various choices, others in your family or circle of friends may not. That’s what makes this basic but helpful article a good place to start.

Because building a retirement plan can be complicated, another good place to start with your retirement planning is to attend one of our free LifePlanning Seminars. You’ll get objective, professional information covering all five of the essential areas of retirement planning: housing decisions, financial planning, legal concerns, family relationships and health care considerations. The LifePlanning Seminars are free, so visit our Upcoming Events tab on this website for dates and times – then plan to join us. You’ll definitely be glad you did!

(Originally reported at


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