In the old days the options for housing as you got older were few. They were limited to continuing to live in your own home until health issues required you move in with the family or moving to the dreaded nursing home. There are a lot more choices today.
Here are a list of some types of senior homes. There are lots of other terms besides the limited list below. Some terms are used to describe similar housing. It doesn’t matter what it is called. It does matter that you know you have options.
- Your Own Home
- Sharing a House with Friends
- Senior Apartments
- Multi-generational Co-housing
- Retirement Communities
- Assisted Living Apartments
- Intermediate Care Facility
- Acute Care Facility
I WILL CHOOSE MY OWN SENIOR HOUSING, JUST NOT RIGHT NOW!
Denial is the greatest enemy of those who are growing grey. You make a great step forward when you accept that getting old is a pretty terrific option when compared with never having the chance to get there. Dying young just isn’t all that terrific. If you are getting grey, think of yourself as a survivor. Darwin’sputs forth the hypothesis of the survival of the fittest. Survivors adapt, become stronger, insure the survival of their offspring, and pass on their best genetics to their offspring. In doing the work and planning to select your own senior housing you adapt to your own realities, become stronger by making your own choices, enjoy your entire life, relieve your children of a dreadful responsibility, and demonstrate to younger generations that getting older is just another phase, not the end of all good things.
WHERE DO I BEGIN MY SEARCH FOR SENIOR HOUSING?
Start by looking up each of the above-listed types of senior housing.
Which options would be better for your parents than the ones they chose?
Under what circumstances would each one be appropriate for YOU? How much will each cost?
Which options do you HATE the most?
Which options give you the most flexibility for unforeseen circumstances?
What happens if you lose your money?
What happens if your children cannot care for you?
What happens if you get a chronic disease that needs increasing amounts of care as the disease advances?
What kinds of diseases run in your family? They might be clues as to the ailments that could strike you. (Personal Example: My mother and all her mother’s siblings went deaf. Maybe I should think about how deafness might affect my life.)
SENIOR HOUSING PLAN: FAST OR SLOW?
Just make yourself a 1-page questionnaire for each option. You can do it in 10 minutes using any word processing program. Then begin to answer the questions as you have time and interest. The important thing is to start NOW. It does not even matter which questions you ask. The process of inquiry will lead you to the right questions and to a practical plan and wish list more quickly than you might think.
You will plan a future I will enjoy and you enable your children to be there for you when more difficult problems arise. It is the nicest thing you can do for yourself and your family. All it requires is a little bit of courage and honesty.