Choosing Senior Home Care

By Stephanie Haywood,

Many seniors face the difficult realization that their homes do not meet their needs anymore. If you are one of these seniors, you must determine whether to buy a senior-accessible home, add senior-friendly modifications to your home, or move into an assisted living facility.


Finding an Assisted Living or Nursing Facility

Assisted living facilities service people who can no longer take care of their basic needs. They may have trouble feeding themselves, walking, grooming, or taking medication. 

These facilities provide meals, medication administration, mobility assistance, physical therapy and doctor visits. If you require this kind of help, an assisted living facility may be the best choice for you.

The potential downsides to this arrangement involve privacy and control. Assisted living facilities come with a strict set of rules and they are supervised around the clock. With regular visits from staff members, you have less privacy.

If you need additional medical assistance, look for skilled nursing care instead of assisted living. The medical staff at a nursing facility will be able to provide this extra level of support. Before choosing a nursing home in Philadelphia, make sure to carefully weigh costs, payment options, and reviews. 

Buying a Senior-Accessible Home

Before you start your search for senior-friendly homes, it is important to look for some general features such as homes with one-story plans. Try to find homes that have few or no steps. 

Search for homes that have a universal design.  Universal design homes are easier for people with physical limitations to move about. Even if the residents have mobility or vision difficulties, these types of homes incorporate design features that make the home accommodating to everyone.

Universal home designers work to prevent the homes from looking “hospital-like.” They strive to make the universal homes appear like traditional homes.

Universal design homes are becoming harder to find due to shrinking demand. 87 percent of people aged 65 and older prefer to stay in their current neighborhoods.

Before you start looking at senior houses, determine your budget. An online calculator is an easy way to figure out affordability. Just input your income, the location of interest, monthly spending, and down payment to get an estimate.

You must also factor into your budget the necessary senior-friendly renovations. These renovations may include multilevel countertops, lever door handles, curbless showers with grab bars, furniture/appliances at comfortable levels and well-lit living spaces.

Modifying Current Home for Seniors

You can also modify your current home. Picking this option would allow you to personalize your living space and retain your privacy. Staying in your home would mean you could stay close to your friends, family, and neighbors.

You can install wheelchair ramps, low maintenance lawns, lifts, lever handles on doors, wider doorways and no-step entries. You can add slip free floors, grab bars, roll-in showers and higher toilet seats. 

Be careful. These modifications can be costly. Making upgrades that do not fit in your neighborhood can also devalue your home.  Be sure to consider the added expenses of in-home senior services, like home health care, housekeeping, and transportation. 

Whether you decide on assisted living, buying a senior home, or making renovations, do your research. Your decision will depend on your level of need, your financial condition, and personal preferences.

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