Consider Communities for Senior-Friendly Living Arrangements
By: Hazel Bridges, Guest Contributor
Elder Law Associates Newsletter dated July 18, 2019
Traditional living environments can be challenging to older adults, and many seniors are using creative ways to overcome those challenges. By embracing various community-oriented solutions, options for safe, independent, senior-friendly lifestyles are broadening. We’ve pulled together some of the best options for you to explore.
Contemplate your Condition
One of the biggest issues facing many seniors is a minor loss of ability. For example, perhaps you still enjoy general self-sufficiency, but need a bit of help getting out of bed in the morning or with buttoning a shirt. These days, assisted living communities (ALFs) can be an ideal solution for those who require a hand with just a few things throughout the day.
If an ALF could be the right choice for you, think about things like the area in which you would prefer living, your budget, and what amenities you would enjoy. For instance, some ALFs offer amenities like gardens you can stroll, on-site exercise facilities, group events, and gourmet meals, and some even allow pets. The price range is broad – $1,500 to $11,010 per month in Boca Raton, for example – so it’s important to think through options carefully. You can begin your research online, but be sure to visit facilities prior to committing to one. That way you can rest assured you found the perfect fit.
On the fence about whether you would do best in an ALF? This checklist can help you sift through issues to help you pinpoint your perfect choice.
Become Village Dwellers
Seniors are finding some clever solutions to their housing conundrums, and one of the most exciting developments is senior-friendly, self-formed, grassroots villages. As Home Health Care News explains, these villages allow seniors to gather in a common community, then share responsibilities, expenses and support, with added assistance from the community-at-large. t can be an ideal solution for those who don’t have family close by, are financially strained, or in danger of becoming isolated.
Senior isolation can lead to physical health decline, increased medical expenses and a shorter lifespan. Some studies indicate the effects can be quite dramatic, with reduced immune function, higher risk for heart attack and stroke, insomnia and depression. By remaining in a community, seniors are staying engaged and active, boosting general health and their quality of life.
If a village arrangement isn’t to your liking, you can scale down your arrangement for many of the same benefits in the form of a roommate. As U.S. News explains, co-housing can be a boon for seniors as roommates can physically share duties around the house, and it can be a big help for financial concerns. No matter what, having a roommate can be a blessing of friendship.
For example, if one gal is physically robust but has trouble remembering things, her roomie can double check that the stove is shut off properly. On the flip side, if one gal is more frail, the other can tend to the more challenging housekeeping chores. If neither roommate can perform a particular duty, they can split the cost of the necessary service. Regardless of the arrangement, the roommates can stay connected and supported.
Appropriate Housing Is a Must
Whatever solution for housing you select, it’s crucial to ensure your home environment is a safe one. Think about making some inexpensive changes to your home to provide support. In the bathroom, installing a taller commode, grab bars and a grippy bath mat can ease use and help avoid falls. Throughout your home, things like wider doorways and better lighting can help you with navigation and performing tasks safely.
Examining your living space can feel overwhelming, so take it on in chunks. This aging in place guide from Common Sense Home can help you with the many details worth considering.
It’s important to stay connected and supported throughout your senior years, and aging in community can do just that. Give some thought to what that will mean for you, and how you can stay healthiest and happiest. With a little help from those around you, you can thrive throughout your golden years.
*Image courtesy of Unsplash
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