Planning for the best living space for seniors

Planning for the best living space for seniors

Seniors, after retirement from active service, often struggle to maintain a perfect balance between leisure and activity. Their location also plays a key role in determining the lifestyle they can expect after retirement. But the truth is the primary factor in deciding how they live their life post-retirement depends on what their family members choose.

Thanks to modern facilities, today, more and more independent seniors are opting for affordable living spaces that allow them to live their life on their terms. These spaces may be all-inclusive premium homes in apartment complexes or simple living spaces with some amenities included as part of the rent or purchase cost.

Herein, we explore the best options for senior living.

Types of senior living

Seniors have a wide variety of living spaces to choose from, depending on their daily needs and overall lifestyle.

  • Independent living communities
    These are all-inclusive living spaces that offer a perfect retirement home for seniors. These spaces can be condos, independent homes, or senior apartments with all the in-home amenities inclusive of the cost. Services include meals, recreational activities, housekeeping, laundry and more.
  • Retirement home associations
    Independent seniors can also look out for a home in a retirement community that is governed by a homeowner’s association. However, they will have to confirm with the association about the amenities that form part of the affordable housing options.
  • Assisted living
    Assisted living options range from senior apartments to community care homes with personal assistance. Seniors who want to live an independent life but are unable to take care of themselves can rely on assisted living staff for meals, bathing, medication, and other daily care activities.
  • Memory care facilities
    Seniors suffering from advanced stage conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia require a special fully assisted living environment with round-the-clock care. A dedicated medical staff and trained nurses in a memory care facility are equipped to handle dependent seniors.

Why should seniors opt for an apartment?
While independent seniors are perfectly capable of living in a big home, there are more financial and personal benefits of switching to a seniors apartment in a secure complex. The first benefit, of course, would be the influx of equity from selling one’s old house and moving into a more compact apartment. The extra money can be used to pay for expenses and consolidate funds for the future. Living in an apartment complex also increases one’s chances of meeting and socializing with people on the same floor, building, or common area. Building maintenance is taken care of by the complex. More importantly, seniors no longer have to worry about yard maintenance and shoveling the snow in winter. All this is taken care of by the complex and building supervisor.

Important points to consider before apartment hunting

  • Location
    Seniors must look for a centrally located apartment complex that is in close proximity to grocery stores, convenience markets, a pharmacy, a doctor’s clinic, and most importantly, a park. It is also important to check public transport facilities since it is not always possible to drive or walk to places.
  • Amenities
    Seniors will want to spend some time in the pool or at the fitness center to maintain fitness levels. So, make sure the senior apartment complex has these amenities within walking distance. With a lot of time in hand, most seniors also like to have recreation facilities such as a clubhouse nearby. Aside from this, essential services like a laundry service with apartment pickup and delivery should actually be the number one priority on the checklist.
  • Installations inside the apartment
    Security systems, medical alert systems, grab bars in the bathroom, secure locks, and deadbolts make the apartment more secure. It also helps if the apartment complex has an elevator service dedicated to emergencies.
  • Budget
    Often, a residential complex in a posh area might be more expensive in comparison to a distant affordable location. One of the more pressing factors seniors contend with is the increased medical expenses at an old age. This can put a serious dent in the amount they can spare for a good apartment. Thus, the budget plays a crucial role in deciding what type of apartment one can avail in the current market scenario.
  • Age restrictions
    It may come as a surprise to many, but senior apartments have age restrictions, two, in particular, 55 and up or 62 and up. Most of the apartments falling in the first category require at least one occupant who is at least 55 years old. The latter category requirements are stricter when it comes to occupancy and only allow seniors above the age of 62 to rent or purchase the apartment.
  • Housing programs
    Senior apartments can be expensive to rent or purchase for many. But that does not mean convenient housing is completely out of the option. The housing department features low-income accommodations for seniors under sections 202 and section 811. The former includes initiatives taken by the government to ensure affordable housing for low-income seniors while the latter provides housing and amenities for seniors who suffer from any form of disability.