Best Senior Living Options In Your Area

Does your elderly loved one want to downsize or need extra care? Explore your local senior living options to keep your loved one safe and happy.

Seniors experience many benefits in life, such as the ability to retire and enjoy senior discounts on a variety of services. However, they also face many struggles. For example, they are often more susceptible to illnesses. They also can develop mobility issues or cognitive function issues that make staying in their own homes difficult or completely impractical.

If you have a senior loved one, you may have concerns about his or her safety, particularly if his or her living situation has recently changed. For example, if one of your parents passes away you may feel the other cannot manage living alone. It is also possible your loved one may actually want to downsize into a smaller, more manageable home on his or her own. In either case, moving your loved one to some type of senior living facility is a good solution. However, selecting a facility is not easy. There are several types from which to pick. The following brief overview of such care facilities can help you make a decision.

Which Cities and States Have Large Senior Populations?

The first concern when selecting a senior living facility is availability. Ideally, you probably want to keep your loved one near friends and family members. Most local areas have a few facilities from which to choose. If you happen to live in one of the top locations for the older Americans, you may have many different facilities close by. For instance, many Midwest cities, such as Billings, Montana have high elderly populations. As for states, Florida is well known for catering to elderly residents. According to this report from 2020 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Florida and eight other states collectively house 51 percent of the U.S. elderly population. Those states are:

  • North Carolina

  • Texas

  • Pennsylvania

  • New York

  • Illinois

  • California

  • Michigan

  • Ohio

What Are Some Types of Senior Living Options?

Senior living options come in many forms. Certain options may suit the needs of your loved one more than others. For example, if he or she is in relatively good health an active senior living option might be the best choice. Active senior living complexes typically consist of individual apartments that allow Independence. Often, such apartments are located in buildings that feature in-house amenities. Some have basic amenities like laundry services. Others have resort-like qualities, such as in-house gymnasiums and swimming pools. If your loved one is less active or limited by mental or physical ailments, he or she might need a different type of care. Here are some options:

  • Cohabitation with a single family or caregiver allows a senior to maintain some independence in a home-like environment with full-time individual supervision.

  • A residential care home allows a senior to live with a small group of other seniors with independence, but some services are provided. For example, meal preparation is usually available. 

  • A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) is a facility typically set up with zones for different levels of care. Such a facility often includes independent living apartments, as well as full-supervision wings. Often, specialized services like nursing care and locked unites for memory patients are also available. Residents are transferred to different portions of the facility as their needs increase.

  • Assisted living is a type of facility where a full range of services is available to each resident, including the dispensing of medications, housekeeping, and meal preparation. Each resident typically has his or her own bedroom or small apartment, but living, cooking, and dining, spaces are usually common areas shared by small groups.

  • A nursing home is a facility that provides in-depth medical care, as well as daily services like assistance with showering, dressing, and taking medications. A nursing home also typically provides supervised transportation to medical appointments. Nursing home residents are typically frail or suffering from specific ailments requiring elevated levels of medical supervision.

What Factors Determine the Cost for a Loved One to Stay in a Senior Living Facility?

As of February, 2022, $4,300 per month is the average cost of assisted living in the United States. However, the exact cost for your loved one to move into a senior living facility is unpredictable. It depends on many factors. Among them are:

  • Geographic Location

  • Type of Senior Living Facility Selected

  • Income Level of Your Loved One

  • Level of Care Required

  • Single Versus Double Residency (Loved One Moving in Alone or With a Spouse)

  • Pet Fees (If Applicable)

  • Amenities Provided (Swimming Pool, Gymnasium Etc.)

What Should You Look For When Researching Senior Living Homes?

When selecting a senior living home for your loved one, you must ask yourself, your loved one, and facility managers a lot of questions. That is the only way to make sure your choice is the right one. It is up to you and your loved one to determine the factors that are most important in your situation, but typical top things to consider include:

  • Facility Reputation

  • Pricing

  • Care Requirements

  • Personal Preferences

  • Cleanliness of the Facility

  • Extra Services Provided (Allowing Pets, Providing Transportation, Availability of In-House Hairdressing Services Etc.)

  • Community Activity Availability (Movie Nights, Shopping Trips, In-House Arts and Crafts Classes Etc.)

What Are Some Online Tools to Help You Find Senior Living Options?

To begin your search for senior living options, contact local facilities. Setup interviews so you can meet staff members and see the facilities for yourself. You can also use a wide range of online tools and websites to find facilities or determine how to compare them. Start with the following elderly care resources:

How Can You Save Money on Senior Living Expenses?

If you are concerned about paying for senior living, explore savings options. For example, some state-specific senior living deals are available. An example is the Assisted Living Waiver Program offered in Ohio. Based on your loved one's income level, he or she may also qualify for a low-income senior apartment. However, such apartments often have waiting lists and strict eligibility requirements. For example, your loved typically one cannot retain a lot of property or assets, such as multiple vehicles. You can also look for facilities with lots of vacancies. Often, when facilities have an over abundance of available units they offer discounts to increase residency.