5 Housing Options for Seniors: The Advantages and Disadvantages

by John Stuck
When adult children are choosing housing options in Minnesota for their aging parents, there are 5 choices to consider, aging in place, living with family, assisted living, and skilled nursing homes. Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages that need to be discussed and seriously considered before making any final decisions. Home care can supplement family and senior facility care to ensure that your loved one’s personal and nursing care needs are being met. This 5-part video series provides a glimpse into what each option would be like & will help guide you in making a senior housing option.

Aging in Place

This means seniors are able to remain in their own home safely and securely. This is a good option to consider if your parent is mostly functional in all areas of their life. When considering this option, it’s important you consult an Aging in Place Specialist to assist you in making any modifications to your parent’s home.

The advantages of this option are that it allows the senior to remain safely and securely in their own residence while keeping their independence. This maintains a familiar environment for your parents and fosters socialization with family, friends, and the community.

The disadvantages are the possible expensive financial investment and time needed to provide safe home modifications, and parents may be reluctant to make these changes to their own home. The average annual cost of this option varies depending on the modifications and home care services your parent may need.

Living with Family

This option can be a labor of love and very rewarding for the family members, but there are many things to consider with this option.

The advantages of this option are its low cost of care, intergenerational bonding, and keeping your loved one close to you in your Minneapolis home.

The disadvantages are the stress that becoming a primary care giver can place on that person, the wear and tear on your home, and caregiver burnout from caring for your parent, your own family and your job. Read more about Caregiver Distress. The average annual cost of this option is approximately $5,000 that covers out of pocket expenses such as transportation, food, extra utilities, etc. Read “Your Place or Mine?” to get helpful advice on making this decision.

Independent Living Communities

These are designed for seniors who are able to live on their own, but would like the convenience and security of living in a retirement community of their peers.

The advantages of this option are a smaller space to maintain, outside maintenance services, possible security of a gated community, enjoyment of being around peers, and it may offer activities, help and services that are needed as the senior grows older.

The disadvantages are the extra monthly fees to the residents, restrictions for grandchildren to visit, possible transportation options may be limited, and proximity to family. The average cost is approximately $3000/month.

Assisted Living Services

This includes 24 hour oversight, food, shelter, and a range of services for the senior. This is a good option when your parent requires more support from professional caregivers and needs help with basic living needs.

The advantages of this option are there are that many are available, on-site medical and pharmaceutical assistance, accommodations for the seniors’ changing physical needs, driving and housekeeping services, social activities, and exercise facilities.

The disadvantages are the financial burden of the monthly expenses, depression of the senior for the loss of independence, limitations of possessions that may be brought to the facility, and less socialization with friends and family members.

Skilled Nursing Home

This includes 24 hour care with registered nurses and medical professionals who are able to care for your loved one. This is an option if your parent is no longer able to care for themselves, and is in need of specialized medical care for physical, mental, or emotional conditions.

The advantage of this option is the skilled medical care that your parent will receive, 24 hour assistance with daily living needs, exercise facilities, and physical therapy. There is often a hospital or medical facility close by the home. Often times, there are separate living areas for seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease which can accommodate for the special care needs and advanced security precautions to ensure your loved one is safe.

The disadvantages are the financial expenses, the time it takes to choose which facility that would be best for your parent, availability of the facility, and the proximity for family members to visit. The average annual cost is approximately $77,000.

These 5 options need to be considered seriously and carefully by the senior and family members to make the best, most informed decision for your aging parent for the years to come.

10 thoughts on “5 Housing Options for Seniors: The Advantages and Disadvantages

  1. I think that this post covers the issues and housing options for seniors in all parts of the world. The steps that need to be taken when one of our loved ones grows older and requires care are something most of us think about, but not something most of us plan for. As such, it can be very stressful when the time comes and we have no plan in place and no idea what to do. I recently read a book called Voice of Experience: Stories About Health Care and the Elderly by a husband and wife who are a Doctor and RN respectively. http://www.voiceofexperiencebrody.com/

    It shares case studies and professional advice on how to deal with the later years of an ailing loved one. By sharing specific stories and situations and combining the helpful advice of medical professionals, this book is able to communicate on an understandable level. I am very grateful for the advice shared as I now feel more prepared to deal with this necessary part of life and have the tools to make it a simple and easy transition period for those I love. I am sure this post and hopefully my book recommendation will help your readers!

  2. Such type of communities play an important role and offer seniors the chance to build up new friendships, social and cultural activities and it’s good to hear that 94% of assisted living residents are happy with the assisted living facilities.
    Experience, knowledge and financial strength of them guarantees you peace of mind, security, continuity and stability.

  3. Nursing homes are total care facilities for senior adults. Facilities with budget
    problems are reluctant to hire substitute caregivers from
    temporary staffing agencies due to the high cost.
    No author listed: “Nursing Home Abuse” National Center for Eldrer Abuse

  4. Good day very nice blog!! Guy .. Excellent .. Superb ..

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  5. […] Read this blog post for more information. Assisted living communities are very supportive for those who need some assistance but still have independence, but a common misconception is that this type of residential community offers anything the senior may need, whenever the need arises. One-on-one care is not available at assisted living communities and Denise stated they often receive questions asked by family members, such as these: […]

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