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Housing Decisions - Questions & Answers - Seniors Long Term Care & Nursing Home Issues - SeniorSite.com
Housing Decisions - Questions & Answers - Seniors Long Term Care & Nursing Home Issues - SeniorSite.com
Housing Decisions - Questions & Answers

Housing Decisions - Questions & Answers

Read the most frequently asked questions regarding housing decisions.

1. I want to stay in my house but my kids don't think I should live alone and keep nagging me to move. What do you think?

2. I have to move out of my house, but I don't want to move into an old folks home. What are my options?

3. What will happen if we move to a golf community in the sun belt and then one of us gets sick or dies?

4. What should I be concerned about when I buy a home in a golf community?

5. I've heard that some retirement communities take all your money in exchange for the right to live there. What are they?

6. Is living with the children ever a good idea?

7. My mother needs a lot of help. Should she continue to live in her own house, or move into mine and hire helpers?

8. What is an Assisted Living Facility?

9. What about nursing homes?

10. When do I have to start making decisions?
 

1. I want to stay in my house but my kids don't think I should live alone and keep nagging me to move. What do you think?

Whether it is wise to stay in your house depends on many issues, which can be boiled down to two--fear and loneliness. Is your present arrangement safe? Are you getting enough social contact with other people? Things to consider:
A - Is your house hazardous? Are there stairs to fall down or rugs to trip over? Have you had accidents at home? Can your home be made safer?
B - How much of the house do you actually use? Are you camping out in the dining room because you can't get upstairs?
C - Are you eating properly? Is getting food a problem?
D - Are you able to get whatever help you need?
E - Do you see other people almost every day?
F - Are you scared?



2. I have to move out of my house, but I don't want to move into an old folks home. What are my options?

Your options depend on what you want to do and what physical shape you're in. If you are fit, you might like a community in the sun belt or an apartment. Both these options would relieve you of many of the burdens of home ownership (like mowing the lawn and shoveling the snow) and would make you less isolated. If you don't want any of the burdens of running a house and are able to live independently, consider a Continuing Care Retirement Community. If you're not independent, try an Assisted Living Facility.



3. What will happen if we move to a golf community in the sun belt and then one of us gets sick or dies?

You will probably have to move. Golf communities (formally known as Adult Recreational Communities) are set up to meet the needs of active, healthy people. They don't have facilities for people who are sick and in need of nursing or other assistance. If you are not well or your golf (and life) partner has just died, you will probably be left out of mainstream activities. If your problem is temporary, things will work out, but if your illness is permanent, your life will never be the same again. It's time to move on. Be glad it worked for a while and move towards other good choices which will better meet your new needs.



4. What should I be concerned about when I buy a home in a golf community?

This may be the first time you have ever bought a home in which other people will have important rights. There are several things to which you should pay close attention:
i - If the developer is still involved in the community, is he fiscally sound? If he is not, what will happen to the community if he runs into problems?
ii - What are the plans for future development of the community? Who is going to pay for development?
iii - What will you get for your money, in addition to the house? Can you use the golf course or do you have to join a club?
iv - When you decide to sell, will you find the community is full of unsold units?



5. I've heard some retirement communities take all your money in exchange for the right to live there. What are they?

They are the figment of someone's imagination! Continuing Care or Life Care Communities (which are the kind of housing saddled with this rumor) are places for people who intend to spend the rest of their lives there. To get in you must be able to live independently. Once you're in, however, they will cope with whatever happens to you. The financial arrangements vary, but all have a monthly fee and require some money up front. Whether you ever get part of your up-front payment back and what the monthly fee covers also varies. None of them ever take all your money--if they did only people with no money would go there.



6. Is living with the children ever a good idea?

Living with the children can be a great idea if you like each other and you each have something of value to give to the other. Before you do it, be sure everyone has the same understanding about the ground rules and the arrangements. Remember, it may not last forever--people's needs change over time--so don't get your lives, especially your financial lives, so intertwined that they can't be separated.



7. My mother needs a lot of help. Should she continue to live in her own house, or move into mine and hire helpers?

I am not a big fan of keeping people at home with lots of help. I have two concerns--first, your mother will probably be quite isolated, especially if you don't have a lot of time to spend with her. Then, if she needs a lot of help you will have an ongoing management problem to deal with. Helpers, being human, sometimes don't show up. What will happen then? Will you be able to pick up the slack or scurry around looking for pinch-hitters? You both might be better off finding an Assisted Living Facility nearby, where your mother will get all the help she needs with no loss of independence.



8. What is an Assisted Living Facility?

Assisted Living Facilities, the newest form of senior housing, are the "just in time" and "just enough" solution. In addition to your own apartment, these facilities provide three meals a day, maid and laundry service, and help with daily living activities (bathing, dressing, etc.). They do not require or expect residents to live independently but believe once residents have received the help they need, they should be free to go on about their business. They generally cater to an older, frailer population than do other forms of senior housing. Often, these are the places keeping people out of nursing homes.



9. What about nursing homes?

Nursing homes are not really a form of senior housing at all--they are places which give you a bed to sleep in and deliver a lot of expert, labor-intensive services (why they cost so much). Nursing homes are the only places which have a high enough staff-to-resident ratio so that they can physically get people out of bed in case of a fire. Nursing homes are only appropriate places for people who are really sick and need full-time nursing or who can't get out of bed by themselves. Otherwise, most people are better off in Assisted Living Facilities which are much nicer and much less expensive.



10. When do I have to start making decisions?

You can make decisions whenever you want to--you needn't do anything until what you have stops working. There is one exception: Continuing Care or Life Care Communities often have waiting lists and require you to be able to live on your own initially. Therefore, the smart thing to do is to get on a few waiting lists. When you are offered a place, you can always turn it down. Remember, you must be able to live independently when you move in, so don't put it off too long.



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