Independent and Assisted Living: What About the House?
When you have a senior loved one that is beginning to have trouble with everyday tasks, you have to consider whether they’re safe living on their own. The same goes if you are the senior in question. For a while, frequent visits or part-time in-home care may be enough to ensure safety. As time goes on, however, things might get more dangerous.
Eventually, you may decide that the best option is to move into a retirement community or assisted living facility. However, this is a decision that can’t be made lightly, and it comes with other decisions attached, such as what to do with your current home. Consider all of your Senior Housing Options thoroughly to make the best choice for you or your loved one.
Choosing A New Place To Call Home
Your first step should be finding the right place to live. It’s important to keep in mind that if there are cognitive concerns, independent living might not be enough. Memory care, which is a separate field from general assisted living and elderly care may be an option. That said, many assisted living facilities offer memory care floors or specialists. If you’re not looking at a memory care-specific facility, be prepared to ask extra questions to be sure the community offers the care you or your loved one needs.
There are several things a facility must have to keep its patients safe and healthy. Scheduled outdoor time, shopping trips, and plenty of nutritious meal options are essential. You’ll also want to ensure that there is ample time to socialize with new friends and to engage in mind and body-stimulating hobbies.
If dementia is a potential concern, ensure that all doors and hallways are clearly labeled to prevent disorientation. It’s also important to check that there is some kind of enclosed, outdoor walking space. Everyone deserves the chance to enjoy the outdoors, so make sure the facility allows its residents to do so safely, especially if you or your loved one has a family history of wandering.
When it is time to consider costs, think about the amenities and features the facilities have. The more that is available, the more you’ll pay each month. In Portland, these homes typically cost between $2,000 and $7,650 per month. Use your research to make an informed decision about how to balance care and cost.
What About the House?
Once you’ve found a facility, the question of what to do with an existing home becomes pressing. There are a couple of choices available, and the one you choose should reflect your family’s values and financial needs. Here’s a look at the two main options and how to pick between them:
- Selling: For some situations, your best bet is to simply sell the house to new owners. This is a good call for anyone who doesn’t have time to manage a rental, or for those who would rather have equity easily accessible. If you go this route, it’s important to get a good sense of how much homes in the market are going for. If you price your home too high, it may be a long, frustrating search for a buyer. Too low, and you risk losing out on the home’s true value. Always reach out to a good local Real Estate Broker to assist with the selling process.
- Keeping It: Finally, you or another family member may decide to keep the house yourself. This is a great option for those who have a strong sentimental value tied to the house, or who simply need a place to stay. You can manage the house’s care and either purchase it now or leave it in your loved one’s estate to allow it to grow in value and possibly be liquidated later on.
Remember: When it comes to what to do with the home, there is no one right answer. Any decision made with your loved one’s best interests at heart is a good call.
Guest post by Jim Vogel www.elderaction.org
Jolynne Ash, Broker DreamStreet Team Portland OR