Housing Options

drmarion's picture

Trying to find the right housing option for your elder can be incredibly difficult. Where and how a person lives says everything about their independence and sense of self. If you are considering removing your elder from his or her long time home, do so only because of medical or economic issues that cannot be managed otherwise. In any relocation there is an adjustment period – transfer trauma – that can diminish cognitive abilities, and cause disorientation or even depression.

So what are your options? Can your elder come live with you, another relative, or another friend? That is an increasingly popular option for families where the elder is fully or mostly functional, but extremely lonely. Some families are even building an addition or extra wing to accommodate their elder relatives.  Though surely a challenge, having your elder become a fixture in your family’s daily living quarters can be more rewarding than you’d ever imagine.

Communal living homes are also an option. This is a home or apartment-like facility where the elderly share rooms or common living spaces. Some of these homes provide meals and care on site, while others do not. Be sure when considering communal living homes that they meet your elder’s care needs.

Assisted living is the next step up in care. Here, your elder will still be able to maintain a strong level of independence, come and go as he or she wishes, and have visitors. Various programs are available including 24/7 nurse or aide supervision, medical care, and meals. If your elder requires a higher level of care, nursing facilities are a final option.

The crucial consideration is to maintain a level of independence for your elder. Listen to where he or she wants to live. Will your elder be happy there, and still be able to maintain a social life?  Companionship is very important until the very end so you must be extra careful to keep your elder as connected as possible.

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