Old age forces us to organize and plan our future needs. We need to adapt and change our lifestyles so that we can thrive better with the changing body conditions. One thing that needs attention in this regard is housing. Be it a serious medical condition or a necessary change in lifestyle, you need to make adaptations to your living space to cater to these needs. If you don’t know what is senior housing and how it helps the elderly, then follow along.
Finding the right place with all the facilities can be difficult for old people and their families. However, the earlier you find a senior housing facility, the better it is. It is because, at this age, you never know how your conditions will evolve and whether you could make these changes in your life at that stage or not.
A multi-residence housing facility that is suitable for an aging population is called senior housing. Senior housing can be of different types depending on the needs of the elderly. In all types of senior housing facilities, the aim is to provide safety, assistance, and a jovial environment to the elderly.
Choosing a Senior Housing Facility
All of us will become old someday, but we will all remain different adults with different circumstances. That’s why you should make a decision regarding senior housing that suits the elderly in terms of lifestyle, expenditure, and health.
Some families may be capable enough to make modifications to their house that can support the elderly. However, most families cannot provide the services of senior housing, and the elderly have to move out to a different housing facility.
Senior housing does not necessarily mean a nursing home. It can be an apartment or an old-age home with several elderly people living together.
1. Aging at Home
If the family can afford the necessary home modifications, then they should revamp a part of their house taking inspiration from a senior housing set up. Aging at a familiar place is better as it does not require the elderly to move out and adapt to new conditions in the declining years of life. This concept is more popularly known as aging in place.
However, this option of senior housing can only be successful in the following situations:
- The medical condition of the elderly is not very serious or not deteriorating such that it can be managed with medications at home.
- Friends, family, and neighbors are all in proximity so that the elderly do not have to live in isolation.
- The house does not require much maintenance work for which the elderly have to be troubled.
- All external services like transportation are easily accessible.
2. Independent Living
Exclusive housing facilities for the elderly, especially those above 55, are called independent living facilities. These housing facilities can have apartments or freestanding homes. Independent living is suitable for most older adults because they are given a compact, independent place to live in, while some maintenance tasks are managed by the administrators of the housing facility.
However, an independent living facility is not safe for those individuals who require assistance in all activities of daily living.
Caregiving facilities and in-house domestic help are also present for the assistance of the elderly in an independent living facility.
You should choose an independent living facility only if:
The elderly require minimum assistance for activities of daily living.
They prefer socializing with people and simple outdoor activities.
If an independent space cannot be given in the house with proper geriatric care.
3. Assisted Living
In an assisted living facility, the elderly can get help with housekeeping, cooking meals, going for doctor’s appointments, etc. The elderly get 24-hour support access and full assistance in activities of daily living in an assisted living facility.
An assisted living facility can also provide personalization. It means that while they help them with several activities, they also encourage independence and give assistance only as per the physical needs.
Choosing an assisted living facility is a good idea if:
- You cannot afford personal care facilities for the elderly at your house.
- The elderly are not in a condition to live in an independent living facility.
- The medical condition is still not bad enough that the person requires regular medical attention as in a nursing home.
4. Nursing Homes
Custodial homes or nursing homes are the oldest forms of senior housing. They provide in-patient facilities where geriatric patients can live under the monitoring of healthcare professionals. The nursing home also assists with activities like bathing, feeding, and dressing.
- A nursing home is an ideal option when:
- The medical condition and the personal care needs of the elderly are complex and it is difficult to handle them at home with limited assistance.
Some geriatric patients require continuous monitoring even after their discharge from the hospital. For these patients, a nursing home can be a temporary living facility where constant monitoring of health conditions can be done.
Convincing the Elderly
Whichever senior housing facility you choose for the elderly, you should know that it will compromise with their independence at some point. It needs to be communicated well enough to the elderly so that they can adjust to the reality. However, it is easier said than done. Sometimes old people have overwhelming reactions to the thought of losing independence in life. At this point, you need to counsel them and tell them that even though they are moving out of the house, they will not lose the family support and that all of you are together in this.
Some people may still feel that sending the elderly to a senior housing facility is not a great idea. The compromise on independence and the isolation from the family can have negative impacts on their lives. However, when you see the elderly struggling with household chores and not being able to cope with the demands of life, moving them to a senior housing facility will only help them in living through the final years. So, explain what is senior housing to the elderly and to their families so that they use the facility to make their lives better.