Housing Options for Seniors: An Overview

Bob Shaw - Housing Options for Seniors: An Overview - HousingThere are many wonderful aspects to the “golden years”; however, physical decline is often inevitable. This raises concern about the right housing choice, once the maintenance of home ownership becomes too difficult.

Fortunately, there are a number of housing options that a senior can consider—that range in level of care—in order to meet an individual’s preference and needs.

Types of Facilities

For those who require a lower level of physical assistance, assisted living provides seniors with the opportunity to make new friendships and participate in activities that help maintain optimum mental and physical health. For many who do not have family nearby, this option reduces isolation.

Nursing homes provide a higher level of care, as well as the aforementioned benefits of communal living.

Choosing the Right Residence

Naturally, the quality of the nursing home or assisted living facility is paramount. When searching for a facility, it is important to carefully examine the following areas:

  • Finances: If the facility does not accept Medicaid, the individual will need to pay privately for the residence. If resources for private-pay is limited, search for facilities that accept Medicaid or understand that a Medicaid application can be made after a certain length of time as a private-paying resident.
  • Mental Capacity: If mental decline is an issue, it is important to look at facilities that have a separate care unit for residents with this type of condition.

During the process, a consultation with an elder law attorney or geriatric case manager can be beneficial. These professionals are usually familiar with local facilities and their reputations; they can provide more detailed differentiation, which can help to make the final decision. This is particularly important if the senior has a special medical condition requiring unique care.

Moreover, families should have a contract reviewed by an elder law attorney before it is signed. It is critical that family members avoid any personal guarantees of payment. It is important to note, however, that an agent on the power of attorney has the obligation to use the principal’s funds to meet any financial obligations—that money is not for their own expenses.

Contact us today with questions or comments.

Robert Shaw

Robert W. Shaw, Esq.
(914) 328-1222

E-mail Bob


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Robert W. Shaw is licensed in New York.