A change in housing requires careful consideration for seniors

It goes without saying that some of the more difficult conversations that those people with senior parents will ever have are those that focus on whether it’s time for them to give up certain activities or lifestyle choices owing to their diminished abilities or an underlying health condition.

Some examples of these conversations might include whether it’s time to stop driving, whether it’s time to give up certain physical activities and, perhaps most significantly, whether it’s time to consider alternate living arrangements.  

What makes this latter conversation particularly difficult is that both senior parents and their adult children may mistakenly believe that housing options are essentially limited to having the senior parent move in with the adult child, join an assisted living facility or enter a nursing home.

While these are all viable options, it’s important to understand that there are still other housing options for seniors, including:

  • Continuing care retirement communities: These are essentially private home communities that not only provide seniors with an opportunity to socialize and enjoy an independent lifestyle, but also buy certain amenities, services or even future medical care at the time of their initial purchase.
  • Senior apartment complexes: These are apartment complexes in which units are typically only rented to those ages 55 and up, and which are designed to provide communal services, including evening meals, transportation and organized activities.
  • Adult family care homes: These are single-family homes that provide everything from room and board to personal care services to a maximum of five adults at a time.

What all of this serves to underscore is that there are multiple housing options for senior parents and their adult children to consider. It also underscores how there are a host of considerations that must be taken into account when making any decision relating to a change in housing, including how the senior parent will pay for the new arrangements and whether it will affect their eligibility for government benefits.

In light of this reality, those families in these situations should give serious consideration to meeting with an experienced legal professional who can provide both answers and guidance.

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Kevin Tharpe

With 25 years of experience, Kevin understands how estate planning, special needs planning, and government benefits programs work together. This is a crucial element of a thorough plan. He explains your eligibility for benefits programs and ensures that you do not make costly mistakes that may disqualify you or deplete your assets.

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