Senior Living: Retirement Communities

Practicalities of Living in Retirement Communities

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By the year 2030, one in every five Americans will be over the age of sixty-five. Furthermore, almost 4 million Americans alive now have already reached their eighty-fifth birthday. These statistics indicate the reason that housing and care for the aging population are flourishing industries in the United States.

One generation ago, individuals who were unable to care for themselves went to live with relatives or went into a nursing home. Those choices still exist now. Presently, almost 23 million Americans are caring for an aged relative or friend. As presented by the Census Bureau, however, the number of parents living with children has actually slumped over time, and fewer senior citizens in this country live in nursing homes than is generally imagined.

According to the National Institute on Aging, only five percent of Americans age 65 and over live in a nursing home at any given time, and just 30% of all Americans will spend any time in a nursing home.

Today there are a lot of new housing and care options for the elderly, including employing in-home help, extending room and board in our homes in exchange for help, or just living with housemates.

There are almost 400 nonprofit shared-housing projects across the country. In shared housing, two or more individuals share an apartment or a house. Each one has a private bedroom, and they share common living areas and chores like cleaning, shopping, and meal preparation. Shared households happen naturally when friends choose to pool resources and lend common physical, financial, or emotional support to each other. Additionally, some local government agencies support shared housing projects for elderly clients.

Home care could mean having somebody live in to give care or having somebody come in to perform diverse services. Nearly six million Americans have some sort of home care, and several of these home-care providers are found via an agency or care manager.

Full-time and live-in care could be as costly as care in a private facility, readily costing as much as $50,000 annually.

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Some other kind of home care can be chanced upon the continuing-care retirement community (CCRC). These communities give a long-term contract for guaranteed continuity of services, housing, and nursing care in a single location. Services might include meals, housekeeping, recreation, transportation, health care, emergency help, and assisted living (help with bathing and dressing).  Some may even offer optional services such as  senior dating services.  The advantage of a continuing-care community is that, if you turn ill when you join the community and need additional help, you never have to move to another community to get what you need. The trouble with signing this sort of contract is that no one could predict how much a particular service could cost in five or ten years. So most continuing-care contracts don't define the actual dollar total that you would have to pay for every service at the time you need the service.